Below is the text of the comments made by Jo Stevens, the Shadow Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, on 9 July 2020.
We welcome the opening of swimming pools, gyms and other leisure facilities as part of the easing of lockdown and the re-opening of the economy.
This news and the guidance about grassroots sports will be welcomed by millions across the UK who have missed the opportunity to exercise and play sport together.
Allowing outdoor theatres and music performances will also give hope to many in a sector which has largely shut down over the past few months and audiences desperate for entertainment. But there are real concerns around keeping staff safe when these venues reopen.
While the government’s failure to get test and trace properly running will mean that many do not feel confident enough to take part in these activities.
It is astonishing that the Secretary of State is only now commissioning research about the spread of the virus and these sectors – the Government needs to put sport and culture at the top of the agenda instead of it being an afterthought.