A number of independent gyms in Wirral have flouted tier three lockdown rules and opened for business today.

The new 'very high level' restrictions state that facilities such as gymnasiums must close to the public, but a collective of fitness businesses across the borough are refusing to do so.

The Globe visited EmpoweredFit Gym on Arrowe Commercial Park, close to Arrowe Park Hospital, which was open as usual. While at the premises at least five people were seen entering gym to use the facilities.

Gym manager Kath Lovell spoke to Globe outside. She said: "We're mainly open for our members. They need somewhere to come and train and relax and have their own headspace. It's very important for mental health reasons that people come.

"The amount of members and people on social media who have contacted us with support have all said that the gym is their only outlet.

"Currently a huge amount of our population is working from home. The only place they come and see other people is the gym.

"We're offering a safe environment, Covid-secure. We've done everything the government has asked of us. We're following the guidelines. We've had no cases of Covid. We're doing what we can to provide a secure environment for our members."

When pushed on why the business was choosing to ignore the rules clearly laid out by government and re-enforced by Wirral Council, she said: "What we are trying to do is try and stand up. We want scientific evidence, data, proof that by closing the gyms, this is going to support the fight against Covid.

"It seems like we've been chosen without having the scientific data to back it up. We've got MPs emailing supporting us and other gyms, both small and large.

"If we get scientific data, we will comply. Until then, we are going to remain open for our members."

Wirral Globe: Body Tech Fitness in Moreton is open for business today as normalBody Tech Fitness in Moreton is open for business today as normal

Another gym that is open as usual is Body Tech Fitness in Moreton.

The Globe was unable to obtain an interview at this time but it is understood that a number of independent Wirral gyms including EmpoweredFit and Body Tech are putting up a united front and will continue to stay open.

CrossFit Sempiternal is another gym on the Wirral that says it won’t be closing. The business is owned by Neil Simon, who did two tours of Afghanistan in the British Army before setting up his own fitness centre five years ago.

The gym says it has invested vast sums of money into making the premises Covid-19 secure and any further closure would be detrimental to the business as well as harmful to the mental wellbeing of its members.

A spokesperson said: "Now more than ever fitness has never been as important."