The final touches are being made to leisure centres across Bridgend County to make sure that it is safe for staff and customers to start to return mid August. Halo Leisure said in a statement:
“We know that during these months of lockdown centres have been sorely missed, and reopening them will be welcomed by families looking for safe places to work out, for those wanting to work out alongside others, and for those who rely on our support to promote their mobility and prevent ill health. We have an important role to play in building community cohesion as lockdown eases and are thrilled we can now start counting down to opening our doors to a new normal, safe and welcoming environment for exercise.
“Halo’s preparations are in line with thousands of gyms and leisure centres across Wales preparing to reopen as part of the Fit Together campaign from the fitness industry trade body, ukactive. The campaign is based on guidelines for reopening, which were supported by fitness trade body ukactive and approved by independent scientific advisers.“
This is phase 1 of Halo’s reopening and not all centres and all activities will be available straight away. Visit www.haloleisure.org.uk/welcome-back-info to find out what is available at your local centre.
Key Dates for Phase 1 of reopening:
Monday 10th August
Bridgend Life Centre – gym, group exercise classes, toning suite
Maesteg Sports Centre – gym and group exercise classes
Ynysawdre Fitness Centre – gym
Wednesday 12th August
Garw Valley Life Centre – gym and group exercise classes
Ogmore Valley Life Centre – gym and group exercise classes
Tuesday 1st September
Pencoed – gym
Pyle – gym
”We are equally as excited about getting people back in the water and have a phased plan to open our indoor swimming pools at Bridgend, Maesteg, Pencoed, Pyle and Ynysawdre and we are working towards provisional dates from September onwards. Updates to follow.”
So what can you expect?
There will be signs guiding customers on how to act safely and responsibly, similar to the signs used in supermarkets, and equipment may be marked as ‘out of use’ or spaced further apart to comply with social distancing rules. Social distancing means no ‘walk-ups’ so customers must prebook all activities online, through the Halo Leisure App or by phoning their local Halo centre.
Changing rooms and showers will also be temporarily unavailable, meaning that customers are asked to arrive on site wearing the appropriate clothing to be active.
Along with social distancing restrictions, there will be an increase in the cleaning of equipment and sanitisation stations, to ensure the highest possible standards of hygiene and cleanliness.
The temporary measures will be adapted as and when government advice changes throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Scott Rolfe, Halo CEO said,
“The Welsh Government has given us a clean bill of health. We want to reassure customers our facilities will be clean, safe and ready to welcome them back soon but if they have concerns then staff will be able to explain all the changes when they return or by phone on 01432 842075 or [email protected] Everything you need to know about returning to Halo safely and surely can be found on the halo website”
Fitness and leisure facilities were forced to close by the Government on 20 March, meaning that customers have been unable to access some of their favourite activities.
As Government and public health experts ease the current restrictions, Halo wants to ensure that customers feel comfortable and safe using the facilities in total confidence.
Recent research conducted by Sport England and Savanta ComRes* showed 87% of gym members said they are likely to resume their membership when facilities reopen and 27% of people who are not currently members of gyms said they are likely to join.
Scott went on to say: “Fitness and leisure facilities are part of the social fabric of our society, and it’s clear our sector has a vital role to play in our resilience and recovery from COVID-19.”
“We know that people have missed being active together in our facilities, and customer and staff safety will be our number one priority when we reopen.
Bridgend County Borough Council and Halo Leisure operate the leisure centres in the County under the Bridgend Healthy Living Partnership.