THE founder of a fitness studio says “it makes no sense” that pubs can reopen before gyms, as the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

Helen Shapcott, who runs The Box in Castle Street in Brighton, described the Government’s plans as “crazy” and said services which benefit the public’s health should be prioritised.

The 36-year-old said: “We’re in a health crisis and yet pubs can open where people can drink alcohol, but gyms, where people can look after their physical and mental health, can’t.

“I’m pretty sure drunk people are not going to be very good at social distancing. It makes no sense.

“We’re still waiting on guidance from the Government and we just don’t know when we will be able to open, which of course makes it really difficult to plan and to give our customers information.

“They’re desperate to keep moving and we’re desperate to keep providing that service for people’s mental health.”

Helen, who co-founded The Box last year with Lucy Pinto, said the studio provides personal training sessions and a range of classes which are inspired by boxing.

She said: “Everything we do, we try to bring back to boxing.

“We’re a boutique studio but our ethos and values are all about being inclusive and going back to basics.

“No matter your age, background or gender, you are welcome, and I think that’s very well felt by our customers.”

Helen said the studio has a hygiene plan in place and would be ready to open immediately, if permission was granted.

She said: “We could effectively open tomorrow if we were allowed.

“Our booking system has everyone’s details so we’ve almost got our own track and trace programme. That’s business as usual for us.

“We know we’re going to have to reduce class sizes and clean everything down in between.

“Once we have the guidance we will mark up each square on the floor so each person is always at the right distance. That is all manageable and our clients are all capable of taking responsibility.”

Since lockdown was announced, The Box studio has been closed but Helen and the team worked quickly to get fitness videos online and create a timetable of virtual classes.

She said: “We know that keeping people moving has been a lifeline and has kept people going through these crazy times.

“They’re desperate to get back to training with others, as there’s a real social aspect which gives people a boost.”