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Norwich gym closes ‘for forseeable future’ after member reports coronavirus symptoms

PUBLISHED: 14:07 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:26 20 March 2020

Boss of Phoenix gym in Norwich, Mark Bone, left, has said the gym has closed after a member reported coronavirus symptoms. Pic: submitted

Boss of Phoenix gym in Norwich, Mark Bone, left, has said the gym has closed after a member reported coronavirus symptoms. Pic: submitted

Archant

A gym in Norwich has closed until further notice, stating “it was the only choice we had left” after a member reported symptoms of the coronavirus.

Phoenix Gym, in St Marys Works, has closed after a member reported symptoms having used the gym on Tuesday.

Mark Bone is one of three owners of the gym, and said: “I got in touch with the member and they reported having a fever and a cough. We have a really rigorous cleaning protocol, we asked what the member had used and where they had been, but we decided it was a risk we weren’t willing to take.

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“We could bring in measures for distancing and cleaning even more than we are, but the health of our members and staff, as well as their friends and family, comes first.”

However, the gym is now offering free online pilates classes; the timetable is the same as at Phoenix and open to non members.

Mr Bone said that like many other businesses the closure will present financial challenges.

He said: “It’s taken us six and a half years to get to this point, and everything was really starting to take off. Whether we closed now or waited to see whether we’d be asked to close, it would always be difficult.

“Because we’ve closed some of our fixed costs like water and electricity will come down, but not by enough to balance what we’re going to lose. Gyms are very expensive to run independently because of all the associated costs.

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“You’ve obviously got your rent, and you need a big space to get all the people in, electricity, gas, water which increases the more members you have, as well as insurance and staff costs which are huge.”

The gym has said that anyone who chooses to support the gym by keeping their membership going will be repaid through personal training sessions, classes, extra free guest passes and free FIT3D body scans upon reopening.

Mr Bone said: “At this point we just want to thank everyone for the support and hope they keep safe and well.”

For updates on coronavirus in Norfolk see the Facebook page here

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