On Tuesday 5 January 2021, action was taken to enforce the closure of Spartans Gym, in accordance with the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020.
After multiple attempts to ensure that the gym closed in accordance with the coronavirus restrictions and further unsuccessful attempts to engage with people inside the premises, steps were initiated to force entry into the building and was secured later that evening.
Spartans Gym was subject to a prohibition notice served on 6 November 2020 (under previous restrictions) but continued to operate and is the subject of legal proceedings initiated by the Council. However, the gym continued to operate, even when Southampton was under Tier 4 restrictions.
Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Councillor David Shields comments: “Along with our partners at Hampshire Constabulary we have taken decisive action to close Spartans Gym in order to protect the health of our communities in Southampton. While regular engagement with business owners is the council’s preferred route, given the extended offending and the refusal of those operating the gym to engage with either the police or Council, closing the premises was both lawful and proportionate.
“Such rapid growth in infections suggests that the new strain of the virus is present in Southampton. The new strain appears to pass from person to person even easier than before and this makes it a huge threat to our communities. With a national lockdown now in place, we ask the public to please follow and respect the restrictions.”
Chief Inspector Ricky Dhanda said: “We attended Spartan gym on Millbank Street, Southampton at 3.49pm on Tuesday 5 January 2021 to assist our colleagues from Southampton City Council in relation to the ongoing breach of the current Health Protection Regulations.
“Ten people were reported for summons and issued with a fixed penalty notice of £200 each.
“The guidelines around indoor sports facilities are clear and it is disappointing that the gym continues to put everyone at risk.
“The City Council leads on business breaches of the regulations and court proceedings are active in this case.
“We hope this sends out a message to other businesses that breaching the regulations will be dealt with robustly to keep everyone safe.”
As part of the national lockdown, the regulations require some businesses to close, including leisure centres and gyms. Detail on which businesses can remain open under the new lockdown are available on the GOV.UK website.
The Government has announced additional funding including new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs. Southampton City Council are awaiting more details regarding these payments from central government. Once further information is available, it will be published on the council website or businesses can sign up to our business e-newsletter for the latest news.
To report a Covid Compliance Concern, please visit our Covid Marshals webpage.