A MAN accused of refusing to close a Southampton gym in light of covid restrictions faces trial.

Josh Gosling is due to face trial for allegedly opening Spartans Gym during the second coronavirus lockdown.

With a trial date set for January 27 next year, the 28-year-old faces two charges of failing to comply with reasonable instruction given by a relevant person in England.

Appearing before Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Friday he pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Gosling, of Tickner Close, Botley, represented himself during his initial hearing.

He is said to have without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with a reasonable instruction given by Southampton City Council on November 7 and November 8 this year.

Gosling has protested his innocence and said he is a passionate gym member and is neither the manager or owner of Spartans in Millbank Street.

Amid a second national lockdown aimed to stop the spread of coronavirus non-essential retail and hospitality venues have closed again.

Gyms are one of a vast number of industries forced to shut down until December.

The latest set of restrictions mean that swimming pools, golf courses and even dance studios must close.

However, the national lockdown could ease with a three-tier system returning in December.