TWO gyms in Bolton have each been handed £1,000 fines for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.

Police entered one premises on February 2 after receiving reports from a member of the public that a number of people had been entering.

Officers subsequently found 10 to 15 people inside the building.

A fine of £1,000 was issued to the gym owner and individual fines of £200 each were handed to those in attendance.

Then a week later, on February 9, another gym in Bolton was found to be in breach of the restrictions and a group of 15 people were each given £200 fines and the owner fined £1,000.

After repeated complaints from the public regarding opening during lockdown, the business has now also been served with a Direction of Closure.

The names of the gyms have not been revealed.

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Greater Manchester Police Chief Inspector Nicola Williams said: "Unfortunately these businesses and the people inside were breaching the current national lockdown regulations and we did have to go to the enforcement stage of issuing fixed penalty notices for those involved.

"We understand this is a really difficult time for businesses, but the regulations are in place in order to keep people safe.

"If we do attend a report of a clear breach then we will have to issue fixed penalty notices, but this isn't something we want to do and will only reach that stage as a last resort."

The council has said it will continue to take breaches seriously.

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Cllr Hilary Fairclough, Bolton Council executive cabinet member for environmental regulatory services, said: “All local businesses and residents should be following the government’s regulations and doing their bit to protect the health of themselves, their families and their communities.

“Those who refuse to follow the government guidelines will be dealt with accordingly and issued with a fixed penalty notice for the beach of lockdown legislation.

"Any businesses found to be continually breaking the rules will face further fines.

“This is an extremely tough time for local businesses and the majority of them are adhering to the lockdown rules.

“For businesses who do have to close under lockdown rules, there is financial help available through the furlough scheme, business rate reliefs or grants.”

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Dr Helen Lowey, Bolton Council’s director of public health, added: “Businesses and individuals breaching lockdown rules are potentially increasing transmission rates and therefore putting more lives at risk.

“The virus is still with us and it’s essential everyone continues to follow the rules.”

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