Gym owner forced to shut by police

The owner of a gym which opened on the first day of lockdown has reluctantly closed its doors after being told he could be fined £10,000.

Charlie Davies was determined keep his Velocity Strength and Fitness gym open in Marsham for the wellbeing of his customers.

To prove his point he opened up on the first day of lockdown but did not charge anyone for using the gym.

Nearly 100 people turned up during the day, but officers from Norfolk police arrived late in the afternoon to inform Mr Davies he was in breach of Covid restrictions and could be fined.

Mr Davies agreed to shut after speaking with the officers.

He said: “It was a normal day until about 4 or 5pm when the police turned up. I explained to them what I was doing and that I wasn’t trading as a business. I was just there for my clients and for their mental wellbeing.”

Mr Davies said business at his gym, which has nearly 400 members from Aylsham and the surrounding area, had started to recover following the first lockdown.

“We’ve had a hard year but we did start to get back to a kind of normal,” he added. “It’s not just about getting fit. For some people I’m the only person they talk to in the day.”

Mr Davies said he was “gobsmacked” when he heard about the latest restrictions and he insisted gyms had one of the lowest rates of infection and a lot of effort had been put into ensuring everything was sanitised.

He added: “How come other people are allowed to stay open and we’re not? I feel very deflated today. I was trying to do the right thing for my members.”

Mr Davies said he did not have a problem with the way the police officers acted towards him.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk Constabulary said:  “I can confirm officers spoke with the gym owner yesterday, offering words of advice regarding the COVID restrictions.”

Charlie Davies

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