A weight has been lifted for Wirral slimmers following the news that Slimming World groups can stay open, despite new Coronavirus restrictions.

A tightening of lockdown laws announced by Boris Johnson now makes it illegal for more than six people to gather, following a spike in infection rates.

But the weekly weight-loss group are not classed as social gatherings due to Slimming World being a commercial organisation, which operates fully in accordance with COVID-secure guidelines.

Members must now book in advance to attend a session and all are being asked to wear masks, practice social distancing and use hand sanitiser on arrival.

Chairs and tables, as well as the weighing equipment, are all being cleaned between sessions and those attending are also asked not to take off their shoes for safety reasons.

District Manager, Gill Rhouma, said “While the tighter guidance announced this week means that social activities are being limited, we are pleased to say that our Slimming World groups can still get together – that’s because as well as the companionship that members love, we are providing a paid-for weight loss service.

"In group we’re going to extra lengths to ensure that all hygiene and social distancing measures are firmly in place, including wearing face coverings during group and allowing extra time for cleaning before and in between sessions to make sure we’re all safe and sound”

Slimming World’s real-life groups have now reopened after members were supported virtually through Zoom meetings since March.

Gill said: “Virtual groups have been a vital lifeline of support and we’re so, so proud of how our members have been there for each other through these difficult months and continued to lose weight and get more active.

"There’s nothing quite like the magic of our real-life groups, though. Research of our members during lockdown has shown that while they have loved attending their virtual groups they’ve missed the motivational power and accountability of meeting in person each week.

"Obesity is a huge issue in the news at the moment with evidence showing that carrying extra weight makes it harder for the body to fight COVID-19, and the Government announcing brand-new plans to tackle obesity across the UK – which Slimming World are very proud be part of.

"Plus, we know many people’s routines were turned upside down by lockdown and lots of us have been feeling more worried or anxious than usual, all of which can have an impact on making healthy eating choices.

"I want anyone who’s worrying about their weight or health – especially if they’ve put on a few extra pounds during lockdown – to know that there will be absolutely no judgement at a Slimming World group – just lots of understanding and a very warm welcome.

"At Slimming World losing weight isn’t about going hungry – our eating plan is extra easy, very delicious and super generous. And moving more doesn’t mean running marathons – unless you want to, of course.

"Groups are hubs of recipe-swapping, idea-sharing and problem-solving activity. Through our weekly sessions, you’ll discover how to identify the stoppers and potential pitfalls that could send you off track – or that have maybe prevented you from reaching your weight-loss goals in the past – and learn to develop strategies to overcome them.

"The new healthy habits you’ll discover will soon become habits of a lifetime, and there really is no better time to start afresh when it comes to developing new lifelong healthy habits around food and activity because, as many of the members of our groups have seen, when you lose weight you’re already doing one of the very best things you can to future-proof your health.”

For more information visit www.slimmingworld.co.uk or contact your local consultant.

Due to new safety measures, all members are asked to book into a group before attending and you can discover what a real-life Slimming World group will look like with all safety measures in place here: https://www.slimmingworld.co.uk/blog/discover-keeping-you-safe/