Posted: 09.09.20 at 21:59 by Nick Hudson
HUNDREDS of Slimming World devotees in Atherstone and North Warwickshire tonight breathed a huge sigh of relief at news they can carry on in the “real classroom”.
Team leaders sought to reassure members that Boris Johnson’s new legally-binding “rule of six” will not mean they have to make do with virtual meetings.
In some cases it is only a week since the groups returned across the district –while others have yet to return.
They are just getting back to a new normality after more than five months where their weight loss regime was reduced to an online support service and weekly attendances slipped to half the normal numbers of 650 people.
Hearts sank earlier today when Nub News revealed the Prime Minister intended to ban gatherings of more than six people from next Monday in moves to ramp up enforcement of tough rules which include fines of at least £100.
The PM’s multi-pronged attack on the virus comes amid fears of a spike in the number of new Covid-19 infections and in a week when the borough's cases per capita has risen to 18.4 (up from 3.1) per 100,000 of population with 12 (up from two) new cases in the last seven days, according to Public Health England figures.
But a spokeswoman for Slimming World told Nub News that as a corporate business it had already undertaken a whole raft of safety measures to ensure protection for class-goers and consultants alike.
Team developer Sandra Forbes added: “While the tighter guidance announced this week means that some social activities are being limited, I want to reassure you that our groups can still get together.
“That is because we’re going to extra lengths to ensure that all hygiene and social distancing measures are firmly in place, including wearing face coverings during group and extra time for cleaning before and in-between sessions to make sure we’re all safe and sound.”
For the time being members are being asked to:
- Wear a face covering;
- Use the sanitisers provided; and
- Keep their shoes on at the scales.
Ms Forbes explained that the UK’s leading weight loss organisation – with almost one million members – has provided vital support to help those determined to maintain a healthy lifestyle during lockdown.
Current members wanting to go back to classes at the town’s Red Lion Hotel on a Thursday can pre-book by contacting Rachel Plumb on 07720 658177. To pre-book the Saturday group at The Grove, contact Sandra on 07949 580215.
And the Grendon Slimming World group, run by Jess Glover, starts back at Grendon Community Centre on Wednesday, September 16.
Numbers are limited and so pre-booking for existing and new members is essential, she said. She can be contacted on 07847 698506.
Jess also looks after the Saturday morning group at Hartshill Sports and Social Club.
The Government’s medical experts have admitted they are very worried about the threat of a second spike in coronavirus – fuelled by young people failing to follow the rules on social distancing and hygiene.
The new rules are likely to remain in place for at least three months – and could possibly mean very restricted arrangements for Christmas 2020 if still intact in December.
From Monday, people in England will be unable to gather in groups of more than six – including children – with the laws applying indoors and outside, after police chiefs said that the rules were too confusing for people to follow.
Weddings, funerals, workplaces and some other gatherings –such as SW groups – will be exempt from the rules.
Other measures starting next week include people going to pub and restaurants being obliged to hand over their details when they go out as part of a ramping up of track and trace.
A new army of environments health and safety inspectors – from the ranks of the newly-retired and newly-qualified – will be rolled out by local authorities to crack down on places not enforcing safety rules.
Fresh plans are being drawn up on Britain's borders to force airlines to make sure passenger forms are filled out – leaving officials more time to check people are in quarantine.
The return of live sport is in doubt may be delayed and night-time curfews could be imposed on businesses in future, similar introduced in Bolton now.
The new "rule of six" includes:
• Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed in law from Monday September 14;
• The new rule applies to people in private homes, indoors and outdoors, and places such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and parks;
• It applies to all ages;
• The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and organised team sports;
• A full list of exemptions is due to be published before the law changes; and
• People that flout the regulations could be fined £100 – up to a maximum of £3,200.