Sports businesses urge govt to reconsider shutdown

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Ljubljana – The fitness and recreation section of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) and the Slovenian Fitness Initiative have called on the government to reconsider its recent decision to shut down all fitness centres and similar facilities as part of anti-coronavirus restrictions.

They say the sector is in a dire financial situation and that recreation is very important for health. This comes after first gyms had to close on Saturday, with the number only increasing as nearly all regions have been deemed red.

The government’s decision has increased uncertainties in the sector, the open letter, addressed to Prime Minister Janez Janša, the government and the media on Tuesday, says.

While companies have virtually no income, expenses remain, and so do loan payments and costs of personal protective equipment, a must during the pandemic. Expenses have piled up during the first wave and a second closure means that many companies will go bankrupt, they say.

The authors of the letter say they represent some 80 companies, association, experts and owners. “We closed ranks and examined best practices abroad and looked into expert opinion. Studies and experts around the globe are coming to find that controlled preventative recreation has a significantly beneficial effect on the physical and psychological fitness of people.”

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The letter adds that fitness is the most popular form of recreation in Europe and elsewhere around the world, involving nearly 65 million people in Europe alone.

The letter urges the government amend it decision so as to preserve the business environment in sports and the health of the people. A petition for the same cause has been signed by 15,000 people in 12 days.

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