Leisure centres across Tendring will open to visitors on Monday (27 July) following their enforced closure during lockdown.
The Tendring District Council-run centres will re-open their doors alongside many others across the country who have joined the Fit Together campaign to encourage people to get moving together again.
Members and the public are welcome to attend from Monday, but are asked to be patient as there will be some temporary changes and restrictions. A video guide to the changes at Clacton Leisure Centre – which are replicated across the other facilities – can be watched at https://youtu.be/Uj0abvN5aUQ.
Signs are in place guiding users on how to act safely and responsibly, similar to those used in supermarkets, and equipment may be marked as ‘out of use’ or spaced further apart to comply with social distancing rules.
Changing rooms and showers for gym and other ‘dry’ activities will be temporarily unavailable, so visitors are asked to arrive on site wearing the right clothing to be active – and to bring their own water bottle but leave towels at home. Facilities will be available for pool users, who can of course bring towels.
Customers should also bring along their One Card to confirm their attendance upon arrival. If you have not got a One Card then one will be issued upon arrival for your first visit.
Along with social distancing restrictions, there will be an increase in cleaning of equipment and touch points, and sanitisation stations will be available to ensure the highest possible standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Restricted session times and opening hours are in place to allow for increased cleaning regimes.
All sessions must be booked in advance so that numbers can be managed. Bookings can be made at https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/leisure/leisure-centres-and-poolsfrom Monday 20 July, or by calling the relevant centre reception from Monday 27 July. To begin with only one session can be booked per day, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to visit a centre.
The temporary measures will be adapted as and when government advice changes throughout the pandemic. Initially over-16s only can use the facilities, as users and staff adapt to the new ways of operating, but this will be regularly reviewed over the summer holidays.
Alex Porter, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, reassured customers its facilities are safe; but if they have concerns then to speak to a member of staff.
“We know lots of people are itching to get back into our leisure centres, whether that’s to swim or work out,” Cllr Porter said.
“Our staff have been preparing for quite some time to make sure the centres are as safe as they can be, and are ready to welcome users back in – we just ask that people respect the new measures in place and are kind as we all adapt to new ways of operating.”
The Fit Together campaign is based on the Government’s guidelines for reopening, which were supported by fitness trade body ukactive and approved by independent scientific advisors.