Readers have reacted to calls being made for the government to reconsider its closure of gyms during the second national lockdown ‘for the sake of the community’s mental health’.

Gyms, in addition to pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops, have been forced to close.

Barrow's Keith Devlin, the owner of Ironwerx Gym, said: "I know the mental health implications that will happen if people are not able to train, myself included.

“The gyms are a place where your endorphins come out when you start training and it really helps you mentally.

“If people can’t get that release then I dread to think what is going to happen to the suicide rate nationally and locally.”

Lori Boo Robbo said: “It’s very tough, it’s a travesty all of this. I really feel for them, let’s hope folk can now do the right thing to get the infection rate down.”

Stephen Watson said: “Not just mental health but health in general. My local has gone above and beyond to keep safe. We’ve had no cases of corona what so ever.”

Lesley Ackred said: “Not being funny you don’t need a gym to exercise to release the endorphins as Mr Devlin mentioned, anyone can take walk, enjoy a jog, do step classes on your stairs. I do appreciate that the community feel in a gym is a great atmosphere however for me so is the community at my hairdressers Sue Mcdaid at Hairnail Port. It is an essential need for me but like the gym folks if desperate we can sort ourselves out. Another fact from what I have being led to believe you didn’t need to wear a mask while training in a gym? I could be wrong, like to think I am, people sweating all over the place and not wearing a mask !!”

Local dog said: “The real problem is shops and supermarkets where people are not socially distancing, some not wearing masks, not sanitising, not checking into the track and trace app.

"Gyms and pubs are far safer than any shop or supermarket. Yet it’s the gym and pub that gets shut? I’d say the supermarkets should prioritise delivery of essentials to those vulnerable people who can’t wear a mask"