Following the local restrictions imposed by Government on 31st July in a large area of the North West including Blackburn with Darwen, sadly we will not be able to reopen our leisure centres on the 10th August as we had originally hoped. These new restrictions are not due to be reviewed by central government until Saturday 15th August when we hope to know more.
Nationally, the Government has said that gyms and swimming pools can re-open from 25th July 2020 if appropriate measures are in place. However, the borough is currently one of a list of local authorities that have higher rates of COVID-19 cases per 100,000. In an effort to reduce the rates of infection five new measures have been introduced for all residents. They include not visiting other households, asking residents to wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces and encouraging people to be tested.
Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of staff and customers and as much as we’d love to see everyone back in the pool, working hard in the gym or enjoying one of our amazing classes, we must do our part and all wait a little longer.
When the time is right, we will make sure everyone who visits our facilities has an enjoyable experience and that we provide a service which is clean, safe and friendly.
Check back for further updates and we will be announcing some new outdoor based activities soon as well as a new online streaming and on demand service for members to keep everyone going until we’re back open again.
But rest assured, we have been working hard behind the scenes to create a safe environment for you to visit and we’ve made some changes to how we do things. When the time is right, we will be able to open leisure centres safely.
We continue to undertake our own risk assessments on a site-by-site basis in order to assess the practicalities of reopening. Our centres are all different and this presents varying opportunities and challenges for us, with safety always being our number one priority in any plans.
What we are doing to keep you safe
We’re introducing a range of different measures which have been guided by guidance from the UK government, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, as well as industry experts such as Swim England, UK Active and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).
Some of the changes you will see include:
Extensive and frequent cleaning. All areas will be deep cleaned every night with high-grade anti-viral disinfectant. Teams will also clean every piece of kit and surface throughout the day, from bikes to barbells and everything in between, so you can workout with confidence.
One way systems with clear signage inside and outside buildings to help navigate your way safely.
Group Fitness classes are likely to run for shorter durations to allow for additional cleaning between sessions and numbers will be reduced to allow for safe social distancing. We will only be running classes we can deliver safely, so please check the timetable for the latest information.
Sauna and Steam Rooms. It is likely they will be kept closed in the initial stages, but we will share further details once government guidance is issued about safe reopening of facilities and these areas specifically.
Using spaces differently within our leisure centres to maximise what we can safely deliver; this may mean activities happening in different locations than normal.
Additional cleaning and hand sanitising stations throughout buildings to help keep you safe and our equipment hygienic
Pre-bookableslots for gym and pool based activities, as well as classes to help control numbers in different areas so that we adhere to social distancing guidance.
Temporary changes to operating hours to allow additional time for deep cleaning and preparation times.
Contactless payments or pre-paid only – no cash.
How you can keep yourself and others safe
Stay home if you’re unwell. Please don’t vivsit the leisure centre if you feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms.
Pre-book your activity. In addition to booking exercise classes, you’ll also need to book your swimming and gym session in advance. More information to follow.
Be prepared. Bring a full water bottle (the water fountains aren’t in use) and you will need your own mat if you’re doing yoga or Pilates. Only bring a towel if you’re showering and don’t bring a sweat towel.
Travel light. We won’t have as many lockers available as usual, so please think about how much you’re bringing with you.
Arrive ready for your workout. Please come in your workout gear to avoid using the changing rooms as we will be limiting their use. We’re limiting showers and changing rooms to our pool users, so please shower at home otherwise.
Arrive ready for your swim by being ‘beach ready’ wherever possible means arriving at the pool already wearing your swimming costumes underneath your clothes so you can hit the water with minimal preparation.
Only shower if you’re swimming. When we reopen there will be no showers or changing areas available for dry activities. Showering before you swim is a vital contribution to ensuring the free chlorine in the pool water is available for disinfection of SARS-CoV-2 (rather than being used to clean dirt off swimmers). We are encouraging swimmers to shower at home before arriving at the pool to reduce the time spent in shower/changing area .
Use hand sanitising stations. You’ll find these before you reach reception and throughout our buildings
Follow the social distancing signs. Keep to the one-way system and try to stay at least 2 metres from others as much as possible.
Do Your Bit – Clean the Kit! Please clean all equipment before and after use using the cleaning stations in every area. If everyone does this, it will make a huge difference and create a safer experience for all.
Bring contactless payment. We can’t accept cash if you need to buy anything while at a centre.
Memberships and Pre-booked Courses
Direct Debit and Annual Memberships
When our centres closed all membership payments were frozen and we will leave them frozen for now. There’s nothing for you to do and we will be back in touch with full details before centres reopen. Any annual memberships will be extended for the period of the closure so you don’t lose out.
Not ready to come back just yet?
We understand everyone might not be ready to return when we reopen. Whenever you’re ready, we’ll be there to make your return as easy as possible. Get in touch with us and we can advise on the best options for you to take. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter, email email@example.com or call 01254 874 900
Once we know a date when lessons can restart we will contact you and amend your account for any lessons that need crediting so you won’t lose out.