Alok Sharma explained the closer settings in gyms mean they haven’t been allowed to open yet under the new guidelines. But the Business Secretary noted the Government hope to open gyms and swimming pools in July providing the five tests are met. It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson halved social distancing to one metre plus mitigations.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr Sharma said: “I think we’ve had a vast approach on this and clearly this is about ensuring that we do this in a balanced way.
“The proximity you have to someone in some of these closer settings pose a greater risk.
“I completely understand the frustration of businesses that are not yet open but if we continue to meet the five tests and we continue to keep the R rate below one then we can continue to reopen the economy.”
The Cabinet minsiter went on to suggest when the leisure facilities are likely to open.
READ MORE: Coronavirus Latest: Australia reports first COVID-19 death in a month
Mr Sharma added: “I think the intention is, if we look at leisure and gyms, at some point in July as we continue to meet tests.
“Our aspiration is we hope to implement this.
“But all this is predicated on very carefully calibrated steps we’re taking as we move forward, not giant steps.
“People instinctively understand we’re trying to keep them safe and that’s the most important thing for us.”
It comes as Mr Johnson said he was keen to enjoy a visit to the pub and urged people to go out and enjoy their new freedom to socialise next month, but cautioned that they would still need to act responsibly.
On Tuesday, Johnson said pubs, restaurants and hotels could reopen in England from July 4, easing the coronavirus lockdown that has all but shut the economy since the middle of March.
At a news conference, he said: “Frankly I can’t wait to go to a pub or a restaurant, even if it may not be wholly compatible with the new diet that I’m on.
“I think people need to go out and I think they need to enjoy themselves, and rediscover things that they haven’t been able to do for a long time.”
Coronavirus map LIVE: UK second wave panic as terrifying letter [LIVE]
Sturgeon crisis: Scottish economy ‘in deepest recession’ [ANALYSIS]
Will you take advantage of the relaxation of lockdown rules? [POLL]
The government will relax its social distancing rules so that drinkers need to stay one metre apart instead of two – something pubs and the hospitality trade have lobbied hard for so they can get more customers through their doors.
Visitors to pubs will have to provide their contact details, although exact guidelines have yet to be published.
Johnson also listed getting a haircut to his trademark shock of blond hair as one of his priorities, and said the government was working to find a way to allow other higher-risk activities like playing cricket and visiting the theatre to resume.
“I want to see bustle, I want to see activity, but let’s be absolutely clear that I also want to see everybody being careful: stay alert and follow the guidance,” Johnson said.