ARGUS readers have argued that gyms should be allowed to stay open during the second national lockdown.

People say they promote a healthy lifestyle and owners in Brighton and Hove have gone to great lengths to keep visitors safe.

Gyms are one of a vast number of industries forced to shut down for four weeks as the new UK restrictions came into force on Wednesday night.

However, many believe they should be omitted from this list due to their benefits to the physical and mental health of those who visit them.

Argus reader Claire Sherwood said: “Gyms are probably as clean as hospitals at the moment.

“It’s so important to keep the gyms open when suicide and depression rates are spiralling out of control.

“Trust in the people is imperative. Fit, healthy people who use gyms don’t want to catch a virus.

“The government is treating us like idiots.”

Sharla Elder agreed, saying that her gym “couldn’t be any more conscientious about keeping everyone safe,” while Kevin Lavender said he felt safer at his gym than he did visiting the supermarket.

James Sands detailed the measures taken at his gym to prevent the spread of infection of coronavirus.

He said: “(I’m) temperature checked as I go in, I work in a personal space and I wipe down all the equipment when I’m finished.

“Fitness equals wellness. (Keeping the gyms open) is a no brainer, I say.”

The majority of responses The Argus received when asking readers whether or not gyms should stay open during the second lockdown were against the nationwide shut-down of health sites.

But some people felt it was necessary to close the centres to help curb the rising rate of coronavirus infection in the UK.

Nathalie Wood said: “There is a lockdown for a reason.

“This virus spreads very fast and you don’t know who is going to end up in hospital with shortness of breath and chest pain.

“It is a scary time for all.”

Winnie Wingate agreed, saying that “everything should shut” for the four weeks.

The new lockdown restrictions were outlined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he addressed the nation last Saturday.

On Monday, he stood before MPs in the House of Commons for Prime Minister’s Question’s and fielded several pleas for gyms, as well as golf and tennis clubs, to remain open.

Conservative MPs Stephen Metcalfe, representing South Basildon and East Thurrock, and James Sunderland, representing Bracknell, argued that these sites promoted fitness at a time when the government is trying to prevent people from becoming ill.

But Tory Leader Boris Johnson was uncompromising.

“Once you unpick at one thing, alas, the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised,” he said.

The UK’s second national lockdown will last until December 2.

People are urged not to leave the house unless for school, work (if it cannot be done from home), exercise, medical reasons, shopping for food and essentials or caring for a vulnerable person.