Leisure: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Ben Everitt Ben Everitt Conservative, Milton Keynes North

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing further financial support to gyms and leisure facilities that remain unable to reopen to the public as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. Gyms and leisure facilities continue to have access to a range of support measures including, but not limited to:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
  • The retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)
  • A Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020 – with an option for the Government to extend if needed.

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

On 11 May the Government published its COVID-19 recovery strategy which sets out our plan for moving to the next phase of our response. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap for easing existing measures in a safe and measured way. On 23 June, the Prime Minister announced that several currently closed sectors will be allowed to reopen from 4 July, with appropriate mitigants in place, as set out in the COVID-secure guidance that departments have been working on. This includes:

  • Leisure and tourist attractions, such as outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, libraries, social clubs and community centres.
  • Recreation and sport will be allowed, but indoor facilities, including changing rooms and courts, will remain closed.

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