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Philadelphia COVID-19 today: Philadelphia Fitness Coalition protesting gym closures in city amid coronavirus pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — More than two dozen gyms in Philadelphia are joining forces, demanding that the city allows them to reopen.

They have created the Philadelphia Fitness Coalition and have gathered more than 1,500 signatures in opposition to the new restrictions.

As the number of covid-19 cases rises, the city required gyms to shut down indoor activities at the end of last week.

But gym owners say it is unfair because of the safety precautions they have put in place.

They plan to protest outside of City Hall on Tuesday.

Last week, the city’s top health official, Dr. Thomas Farley, defended the city’s decision to tighten restrictions, saying now is the riskiest time for the transmission of the virus.

“What was now safe is now dangerous with the change in the weather. Many businesses feel they put safety measures in place, sure they have, and I’m sure there’s no spread there and that’s true in many places. Remember, there are more people than ever with the virus,” said Farley.

City officials said dramatic action is needed to respond to an exponential growth in cases and hospitalizations.

On Thursday, health officials announced 765 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia. That brings the number of confirmed cases to 57,237.

The number of residents who have died from the virus in Philadelphia is 1,945.

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National Constitution Center temporarily closes to the public through January 1, 2021

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fitness

Many UK fitness venues may not survive winter Covid closures, say bosses | Business

Many hundreds of gyms and swimming pools will go out of business this winter if new post-lockdown restrictions being considered for England force them to remain closed, industry leaders have warned.

Huw Edwards, the chief executive of ukactive, said the government was thought to be considering keeping gyms and pools closed as part of a tradeoff for reopening other parts of the economy, such as pubs and restaurants, in December.

The prime minister is due to make a statement setting out a new system of tiers, potentially with a tougher top level. Pubs and restaurants have demanded a week’s warning of new rules that would kick in after the English lockdown ends on 2 December.

The UK’s 7,000 gyms, pools and leisure centres have sought to be reclassified as essential services vital to public health. The move is being debated by MPs on Monday after a petition attracted more than 600,000 signatures.

Gyms are currently shut in England and parts of Scotland, and are due to close in Northern Ireland on Friday. To further penalise the fitness industry would be a “political choice”, Edwards said as there was “no science” to support the idea that its venues were a source of infection.


Public Health England has also warned that any respite at Christmas would be paid for with tough restrictions afterwards. Shutdowns in January and February would be even more damaging for gyms, as it is their busiest period with Britons undertaking new year fitness regimes.

Edwards said having to shut again in the new year would be another hard blow for businesses. “Missing out on those months would be devastating, and we could end up losing up to 20% of all facilities if there is a sustained period of closure.”

About two-thirds of gyms and leisure centres in England are in private hands, with the 2,116 council-owned sites typically run by charitable trusts on their behalf. While the big chains have been bailed out by deep-pocketed investors, the operators of public facilities, which are often providing services for less affluent communities, are struggling.

Last week, GLL, the UK’s biggest leisure trust, which has more than 270 leisure centres – including the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venues – on its books, announced that Oasis, the Swindon leisure centre that gave one of the UK’s biggest bands its name, was closing. Other centres, including sites in Preston and Newcastle, have already shut.

Mark Sesnan, the GLL chief executive, said it had used up its £20m rainy-day fund during the first quarantine. The Oasis centre, he said, relied “on getting a lot of people through the door. The business model doesn’t work under social distancing and it doesn’t work when you are shut. The costs are unsustainable.”

Sesnan is worried the government will decide gyms and pools can’t open because it sees the industry as “easy pickings”. Public leisure facilities were “very vulnerable,” he said. “Furlough covers 80% of the staff costs, but that is only half of our costs and the

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