Police fined a Liverpool gym owner £ 1,000 for refusing to close despite strict Tier 3 lockdown rules.
Nick Whitcombe defied the newly imposed lockdown rules and refused to close Bodytech Fitness in Moreton because otherwise they have no one to return to.
A member of the public noticed that the gym was still open and called the police, who issued a warning instructing him to close the gym.
A short time later, when he did not close the premises, seven or eight police officers showed up at his gym and demanded that it be closed or fined.
Police officers (pictured in the gym, right) fined Liverpool gym owner Nick Whitcombe (left) £ 1,000 for refusing to close despite strict Tier 3 lockdown rules
This week, Liverpool – and the neighboring five boroughs that make up the metropolitan area – have been placed under level 3 coronavirus lockdown.
Hundreds of bars and pubs that don't serve meals have been closed for four weeks. According to analyzes, up to 1,500 companies could be affected.
And Liverpool – currently the only big league city – has broken the basic restrictions by closing leisure centers, gyms, betting shops and casinos.
Mr. Whitcombe shared footage of police officers at his gym today and said, “We have just received our first £ 1,000 fine from Body Tech.
After meeting the police yesterday, they told us we would get a warning on the first day, then a second warning, £ 100 fine, £ 200 fine and so on.
Mr. Whitcombe (left) shared footage of police officers at his gym and said, “We have just received our first £ 1,000 fine from Body Tech.” Right: Police at Mr. Whitcombe's gym
“You came to see us this morning and warned us. Then he came back this afternoon and ordered her top boss to immediately impose a fine.
"So they told us to close immediately or I'll be fined £ 1,000."
"Apparently we still had quite a few members in training and I said to the officers," I'm not asking anyone to leave. Even if it is me, I'll let them finish their sessions first. & # 39;
& # 39; So they issued the fine. First it's £ 1,000. You can get back in three hours and spend £ 2,000. Three hours later, £ 4,000.
& # 39; It's disappointing. You sent seven or eight firearms officers out, what a waste of resources. & # 39;
In a previous video announcing his refusal to close the gym, Whitcombe said, “We are not going to close our doors. We can not.
“If we close our facility, we won't have one to return to. We won't have a gym to go back to. There will be no business, there will be no gym, there will be no jobs. & # 39;
He added: “We have to keep fighting and you have to keep supporting us. We fight the good fight. Gyms have to stay open. & # 39;
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that a Moreton gym was fined and closed after it opened, despite laws banning gyms from opening in the Liverpool City area.
A short time later, when he failed to close the premises (people working inside, as pictured), seven or eight police officers showed up at his gym and demanded that it be closed or fined
Officials were called to Body Tech Fitness on Pasture Road in Moreton at around 8:35 a.m. today by a member of the public who was concerned that the gym had opened in violation of new coronavirus laws.
The officers visited the premises and warned the owner to close it.
"When we got back later today, the gym stayed open and had a solid fine asking the owner to pay a £ 1,000 fine. They were told to close immediately."
Superintendent Claire Richards said, “We understand that people are frustrated with the current situation and that this will be particularly difficult for a number of local businesses, including the fitness and leisure industries.
“It wasn't long ago that gyms reopened their doors after they were locked, after major changes to the way they worked for the safety and security of their customers.
“While this lockdown poses major challenges, we should all focus now on preventing the virus from spreading and getting back to normal as safely and quickly as possible.
& # 39; The new restrictions were put in place to achieve this and if we don't act decisively and cooperatively, the effects could be tougher and even longer.
"We will therefore continue to encourage the public and businesses to adhere to the guidelines, explain why they should do so and, as in this case, use enforcement when there are clear violations of the law."
City Fury Under Scouse Arrest: Police Sentences Gym Owners To £ 1,000 And Pubs Turn To Restaurants Overnight To Avoid Ruin … ROBERT HARDMAN examines the absurdities of living in Liverpool, Britain's first 'beast -Three "zone
By Robert Hardman for the Daily Mail
Whatever the merits of a tier-three lockdown – and it's very hard to find a single fan here on Merseyside – one thing is beyond doubt: it's bad news for the waistline.
Because in Liverpool you can still buy a pint of beer, glass of wine or other drink as long as you order a huge plate of food with it.
But go to the gym to solve the problem and you could get arrested.
Yesterday, Wirral gym owner Nick Whitcombe received a visit from two police loads after refusing to close his premises – and received a £ 1,000 fine as well as a steeper penalty warning if he does it again (which he assures me he will).
But hours earlier, the police had strangely hesitated to leave their vans when hundreds of crammed Liverpudlians decided to kick off the new restrictions with a street party.
ROBERT HARDMAN tried the new bar food as the venues are forced to become restaurants to comply with Liverpool's lockdown rules. As he quickly found out, the restrictions are bad news for the waistline
Footage of maskless youths dancing and singing in central Liverpool late Tuesday night was condemned yesterday by the city's mayor, Joe Anderson, who accused the revelers of shaming the city.
They also recall that the UK is entering this new round of Covid controls in a completely different mood than the stoic compliance that welcomed the initial lockdown.
If there is a common feeling here right now, it is that Liverpool is being picked up by a national government that has not really thought this through at all.
"A lot of policies are being dictated by London and London was at the forefront of the first wave of this virus," said Councilor Paul Brant, Cabinet Secretary for Health on Liverpool City Council.
“So we had national politics here when we were way behind London.
Then that national policy was lifted while we were behind London. But the embers of the virus still burned here. And now they have reignited more quickly. "
He believes the recent restrictions should have been in place a few weeks ago as the city's ICU beds are already 90 percent full and will be in crisis for the next week.
A very dark thought. But last night when a depression settled in this city, there were still signs that Liverpool would not go down without a fight.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has condemned recordings of maskless youths dancing and singing in central Liverpool late Tuesday night
In the Baltic Triangle district, I find a particularly sophisticated rebranding on the site of a former brewery.
Huge posters advertise Liverpool's own Oktoberfest, which is modeled on the great Munich beer festival – with rows of tables inside and a boulevard with wooden drinking sheds outside.
To my surprise, it's still going strong under the new restrictions. They may have forced all pubs and bars to close. But officially this is a very large restaurant now.
“Up until the new rules, we were guided by drinks and ghosts. But now we're food-centric, ”says Michael Tansey, manager of Birdies Bar And BBQ, which hosts this beer-themed festival.
He firmly believes that the new operation must conform to both the spirit and the letter of the law.
At the moment, this allows alcohol to be sold in Liverpool as long as it is food in a restaurant and the guests come from the same household.
Therefore, all guests must book online in advance and confirm that they are living together. And no one can touch a drink until the main course has been delivered from the kitchen, where chefs Stephen Hampton and Andrew Henry have reworked the menus.
Instead of ordering a plate of fries with a giant 9-pound stein of premium German beer, the only way to drink your beer is to try a 7.95-pound plate of bratwurst and fries or 6.50 pounds of salt and pepper chicken .
In addition, management has decided to limit all bookings to two hours.
It can hurt sales, but it'll keep people from ordering a burger and then sitting back with ten pints.
It's well planned, well organized, and an example of a private company making the most of a bad lot.
In the city that keeps fit, however, there is a much more angry mood of defiance.
While revelers partied at illegal gatherings, local gym owners in Liverpool discussed plans to ignore lockdown restrictions
Because the rules dictate that all gyms must close. Many refuse. Nick Whitcombe, who runs Bodytech Fitness on the Wirral side of the Mersey, says up to 70 Merseyside gyms, including his own, still let their members through the door.
"I put my head over the parapet and already had a fine, but we have to stand together here," he says.
"The government says it is a matter of the councils and the councils say it is up to the government." All of our MPs, all of our councilors, and all of our members say they want us to stay open – why are we being fined then? "
I meet him during a council of war at a neighboring gym, EmpoweredFit.
"Until someone gives me a very good reason why we should close, we stay open," says Thea Holden, 27, co-owner of EmpoweredFit.
She and her business partner Chris Ellerby-Hemmings have poured their savings and soul into this airy industrial facility, which has over £ 400,000 of state-of-the-art machinery, all of which are in separate two-meter zones far apart.
Since the pandemic began, the two have spent thousands on new ventilation systems.
As we talk, one of Thea's members, offshore rig worker Peter Hughes, 56, shows up happily sweating after a long workout.
"I read a story on MailOnline today about a gym breaking these rules and then I saw it was my gym and I thought, 'Hooray for them' and I came right here," says Hughes.
It seems absurd that Stephen Hampton can sell me a good £ 7 piri burger and fries, as well as a huge glass of beer, but I'm then forbidden to sweat it out in Thea Holden's fully ventilated gym.
For the moment, these remain just a few of the startling facts of life under the Scouse arrest.
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