Gym threatened with closure declares itself a church to bypass Covid rules

A gym has decided it is actually a church as it looks to side-step Covid-19 safety measures that threaten to close it down in Poland.

The sports club made the declaration in an outlandish bid to exploit loopholes that could allow it to keep trading.

vIn Krakow, Poland, Atlantic Sports Club said it was rebranding as a place of worship.

According to the gym’s social media: “Because fitness classes aren't allowed, starting today we're offering religious gatherings for members of the Church of the Healthy Body.

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“Hard to believe? In this world everything is possible.”

Polish officials have shut down most pools and gyms following the start of a second spike of Covid-19.

Measures introduced this weekend by the government also require restaurants to follow a curfew, and weddings are banned.

Secondary schools are back in high-risk areas such as Warsaw.

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But, as a devout Catholic country, church services are still allowed as long as attendees wear a mask and follow capacity restrictions.

Poles have taken to social media to mock the new rules, pointing out that fit and healthy gym-goers are being classed as “at-risk”.

In Warsaw on Saturday, a couple hundred people braved the rain to attend a rally against the restrictions, some holding up signs with slogans such as "physical activity = immunity".

Meanwhile in the UK, health club David Lloyd is petitioning the government over its decision to close gyms in Very High Risk areas.

In an email to members, the club said: “We believe that it’s not right for several reasons, most of all because of the physical and mental wellbeing pf staying active, which outweigh the risks.”

A petition to Parliament currently has 373,339 signatures.

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