THE owners of an Isle of Wight gym have been fined for breaking coronavirus rules.

Fixed penalty notices totalling £2,400 were served on the owners of Evolution Gym, in High Street, Ryde, and two of its customers following a joint investigation by police and the Isle of Wight Council.

Police attended the gym on Sunday January 10 following reports customers were still using the premises in breach of the current health protection regulations.

On attendance, officers encountered two people exercising inside. Both were reported for summons to be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £200 each.

The information was shared with the council and officers have subsequently served fixed penalty notices on the owners of the business, which for a first offence are £1,000 each.

Superintendent Sarah Jackson said: "The guidelines around indoor sports facilities are clear and it is disappointing that this gym continued to operate, potentially putting others at risk.

"The local authority leads on business breaches of the regulations and have taken action against the owners of this premises.

"We hope this sends a message to other businesses that breaching the regulations will be dealt with robustly to keep everyone safe and prevent the spread of this deadly virus."

If business owners are unsure of the requirements, require advice on being Covid-secure, or if the public are aware of any premises that are trading outside the restrictions, then please contact the council on 

Cllr Gary Peace, cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said: "We recognise it is a difficult time for businesses and the public alike.

"The guidelines around indoor sports facilities are clear and it is disappointing that the gym continues to put everyone at risk.

"The Island cases have now exceeded 1,000 per 100,000 and those found to be breaching the rules, as with this instance, should expect necessary enforcement action to be taken against them."

A statement was issued by Evolution Gym in response to the fines:

It said: "There were two males present in the gym at the time, both of which suffer with health issues and have been affected more than most during the pandemic as they are unable to exercise outside.

"They were working, on a voluntary basis, helping to get the gym ready for re-opening, and to thank them, we allowed them train afterwards.

"Unfortunately, it was at this time that the police let themselves into our premises, via a back entrance and fire escape that was left open to provide ventilation for our workers."