A WEIGHT has been lifted for 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 get her together, following a spike in infection rates.

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

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

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

Denise Broughton, who runs Wigton Monday and Tuesday groups and Belah community centre groups in Carlisle, said: "While the tighter guidance announced this week means that some 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 are going to extra lengths to ensure that all hygiene and social distancing measures are firmly in place, including wearing face masks in group and allowing extra time for cleaning before and in-between sessions to make sure we are all safe and sound."

Slimming World groups re-opened in August after members were supported virtually through zoom meetings since march.

Mrs Broughton said in just the first few weeks members have shed pounds and members have collected amazing awards.

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

"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 cope and 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 to be part of. Plus we know many people 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 choice."

Mrs Broughton is now expanding her team and looking for members that would love to attend an open evening in what’s involved in becoming a consultant, the team only ever recruit from members as they know how it feels and can relate and empathise with how it feels, the event is Thursday, 17 September at 6pm at St James Church, Denton Holme, Carlisle or contact denise on 07799708465.

All groups in the area are back in venues and looking forward to seeing everyone, contact your local consultant to book your place.