Muscle-bound visitors in high-vis jackets flock to gym accused of Covid breaches as bosses claim it’s open to decorators

2 months ago 10

WELL-BUILT visitors in high-viz jackets have been seen outside a gym accused of breaching coronavirus rules – after bosses claimed it was opened for decorating.

Pictures show people wearing jogging bottoms and construction helmets outside Spartans Gym in Southampton, Hants.

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Well-built people wearing hi-viz jackets and helmets were seen outside the gym in Southampton

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Well-built people wearing hi-viz jackets and helmets were seen outside the gym in SouthamptonCredit: Splash

A witness said they saw more than 20 people entering and leaving Spartans Gym

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A witness said they saw more than 20 people entering and leaving Spartans GymCredit: Splash

One witness claimed more than 20 people had entered and left the building despite current Covid guidelines prohibiting gyms operating, reports MailOnline.  

The Sun Online contacted the gym to ask whether it had opened its doors to members and received an automated reply which stated it is “closed”.

It said: “In keeping with government guidelines and rules Spartans is now closed.

“We kindly ask members to support us through this where possible so we can remain open, discounted membership will be offered in the future to all those who continue to support us.

“Please do not request to rent any dumbbells or equipment, premises are now closed.”

'DECORATING'

In December, up to 60 people were seen going in but Spartans denied being open and said those entering were painters and decorators.

Spartans said: “We are closed but doing a lot of maintenance and also trying paint, taking advantage of being closed… people coming and going will be working.”

Just a month earlier, the gym was hauled before court for "refusing to close" during the coronavirus lockdown.

Cops were called to the gym amid reports that the owner had vowed to stay open despite the Government's rules.

In keeping with government guidelines and rules Spartans is now closed."

Spartans automated response

Police warned a man, believed to be the manager, that he would be taken to court if he continued to flout the rules.

Gym "boss" Josh Gosling appeared at Southampton Magistrates' Court charged with breaking coronavirus guidelines - but claimed he is a "passionate" member of the gym, not the owner.

The 28-year-old explained during the hearing that the owners of the gym were not in court as the director listed had resigned months before the lockdown.

The court heard that the gym had refused to shut despite the nationwide lockdown.

GYM IN COURT

Gosling, who represented himself, pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to comply with reasonable instruction given by a relevant person.

He claimed he had no authority to decide if the gym remained open.

Gosling told the judge: "First of all I don’t know why I’m here.

“I am not a manager. I have no standing. I am just a passionate member of the gym. I care about it.”

When asked why police and staff at Southampton City Council thought he was the manager, Gosling said he had simply been at the gym when they turned up.

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A hearing for Gosling, and Spartans Gym, was adjourned until January 27 when a full trial was set to take place.

According to the Daily Echo the charges against them were dropped. It is not clear whether any further action has been taken since then.

The Sun Online has contacted Southampton City Council for comment.

People wearing jogging bottoms were seen near the popular gym

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People wearing jogging bottoms were seen near the popular gymCredit: Splash

Gyms have been forced to shut during the coronavirus lockdown

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Gyms have been forced to shut during the coronavirus lockdownCredit: Splash

The Sun Online has contacted Spartans Gym for comment

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The Sun Online has contacted Spartans Gym for commentCredit: Splash

Josh Gosling, 28, appeared before Southampton Magistrates Court charged with breaking coronavirus guidelines

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Josh Gosling, 28, appeared before Southampton Magistrates Court charged with breaking coronavirus guidelinesCredit: Solent

Cops were first called to Spartans Gym on November 5 amid reports that it wasn't following coronavirus rules

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Cops were first called to Spartans Gym on November 5 amid reports that it wasn't following coronavirus rulesCredit: Solent News

Nadhim Zahawi states gyms are not reopening despite outdoor sports returning on March 29

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