A GYM owner has vowed to keep her doors open during the second national lockdown – despite coronavirus measures.

Jayne Deakin, 51, runs Fitness For Life on Manchester Road, Bury, and believes her business should be classed as essential.

The mum, who has worked in the fitness industry for more than two decades,

Speaking to The Bury Times, Mrs Deakin said: "The only reason I'm doing this is for my members.

"I'm frightened to death, I'm not daft and I know there's a virus so I'm really worried, but these are the people I get out of bed every day for.

"There's no logic in shutting a gym – not when I've spent thousands of pounds making it covid safe.

"They're not giving a valid enough reason – how can garden centres, and click and collect alcohol from pubs be essential, but gyms that keep people physically and mentally fit and healthy, and able to fight the virus aren't?"

In the 110 days Fitness For Life has been reopen, no cases have been linked to the site.

There is very little data linking coronavirus cases to gyms. However, the latest NHS Test and Trace figures showed that 930 people referred for contact tracing had been to a gym where another positive case had visited.

This accounted for 2.8 per cent of all contacts, behind supermarkets, pubs, and secondary school – although there is no evidence to say whether they caught the virus at these places.

Mrs Deakin added: "These people need that reason to get out of bed in the morning – I've got full classes booked all day tomorrow.

"The only people who aren't coming are people either in the police or married to police officers, or those in the NHS who can't come because of their jobs.

"For everyone else it's a lifeline – I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, if I've made the right decision, but I know in my heart I've got to do what I believe in.

"It's not about money, I could shut that door, put my computer on, and teach through Zoom, but it's not about that.

"It's been a difficult eight months and now it's dark, it's wet, it's that time of year when depression and anxiety is harder, my members need me.

"It feels so empty, you've not got that interaction you just do the class and then you go, there's just a feeling of loneliness.

"For some of my members I'm the only thing they see in a day, I can't take that away from them. As long as my members want to come I will try and be there."

Businesses found to be breaking the coronavirus restrictions can be fined up to £1,000 for the first offence, with the total doubling until the fourth offence, when the fine reached £10,000.

Mrs Deakin is worried about being fined for staying open, as she doesn't have much money to pay the charges, but vowed to "find a way", even if it involved taking the fines to court.

She added: "I'm 51 years old and I've never been in trouble with the police so I'm absolutely terrified.

"I'm scared I'm going to get fined, I can't pay fines but I'll find a way to make it work – what else am I going to so, shut my doors?

"I'm not blindly following the rules without reason.

"There's been a lot of backlash, people telling me I deserve to be fined because I'm breaking the rules but I'm not – I'm making a stand for what I believe in."