A CHEPSTOW gym owner has welcomed the latest relaxation in the coronavirus regulations which mean she is able to reopen her facility after lockdown.

However, she says that it was a long time coming and that regular customers living just over the border have been able to use English gyms while those in Monmouthshire lose out.

Claire Pennington, who runs the Hub in Chepstow, said that being so close to the Wales-England border meant that the previous set of rules "were not working".

Ms Pennington lives in Tutshill and said that her regulars living in the same area had been able to utilise English gyms while hers lost out on potential income.

Despite the discrepancy, she said it was "amazing to be back open".

"Nice and steady so far, lots of regulars were here at 8am," she said.

"We're operating extended opening hours today as we didn’t know what to expect."


She said the day of reopening had been a "long time coming".

"It’s been hard as the grants ceased at the end of March, meaning we had to face a month with no funding," she said. "It’s been tough for the whole industry.

"Welsh gyms have been impacted financially.

"Reopening has been delayed far too much.

"I'm hoping it’s the last lockdown. We also hope we won’t be put to the last peg as usual."

Unlike some other gyms, The Hub does not have a booking system.

That, Ms Pennington said, would not be workable with one-hour slots around people's ever-changing schedules.

Instead, the gym staff are "keeping a close eye on numbers".

Covid-safe protocols are also in place, such as sanitising stations and a requirement to make sure kit is wiped down after use.

However, Ms Pennington said that the spread of infection in gyms had been fairly low.

"Classes resume from tomorrow, however those will be for limited numbers and booking will be required," she said.

"Everyone is happy to be back. Especially parents who have been working from home."