Man ordered to stop his Zoom class from gym – even though he was alone

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The owner of a gym who has been running exercise classes via Zoom during lockdown was ordered to stop what he was doing by council officials – even though he was the only one there.

Gyms are currently closed by lockdown rules in England, but gym boss Nick Wardle thought he would be OK to use his site – so long as he was on his own.

A council official visited the gym on Friday and told Nick, 39, he had to stop his Zoom class.

Nick was the only person present when he was visited by a representative of Charnwood Borough Council, reports LeicestershireLive.

Mr Wardle, founder of Body Transformation Centre, said: “There was only me, my laptop and a telly on the wall there.

“There was nobody else who could have been infected or who could have infected me – just clients safe and sound on the other end of a Zoom call.

“But he wasn’t having any of it.

“He told me ‘I don’t make the rules, the rules are there in black and white’.

“I said it’s not a gym. It’s empty, most of the equipment has gone because I’ve lent most of it out

“It’s a glorified office which I’m just using to do sessions online.

“I had to laugh but I was absolutely fuming.

“He said he would send me an email to confirm it all but I didn’t get one.

“I probably shouldn’t have, but I did a video on Facebook where I might have seemed a bit angry and it took off.

“Loads of people were saying how ridiculous it seemed.”

Mr Wardle added: “I’m working from my business premises, which I’m still paying rent on, because I can’t from home as there are family and neighbours who I don’t want to disturb.”

He added: “I was more bothered about my clients.

“Some of them are really struggling with mental stuff.

“We know some of our clients are struggling and exercise is what’s keeping them sane.

“For us, that’s why we wanted to keep things moving.”

A spokesperson for Charnwood Borough Council said: “We received a complaint last week that the gym was being used, which would be a breach of the Covid regulations.

“An officer visited the premises on Friday and discussed the situation with the owner who said he was using the gym for running virtual classes via Zoom.

“We advised him that he could not operate the gym for the public and that we would review the situation for the Zoom classes.

“We informed the owner at the earliest opportunity, which was on Monday morning, that the Zoom classes could continue.

“The Zoom classes did not have to stop immediately but we apologise if that was not clear.

“If we receive a complaint that a business is breaching Covid regulations then we are duty-bound to investigate.

“While we do investigate complaints, we are also proactive and offer advice and support to businesses in Charnwood about how to comply with the regulations.”



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