Last week the government announced details for when leisure centres and swimming pools could re-open. South Oxfordshire is working with Better, who runs council leisure facilities, to agree to a re-opening plan for the leisure service that complies with the government guidance and meets the industry standards.
There will be a gradual, phased opening of the centres, with careful measures being put into place for both staff and public safety.
Each leisure centre is being assessed independently as they all have different facilities and availability of space to make any necessary changes. Precisely when they open and how they operate when they are open will reflect that.
When the centres do re-open things will work differently at first, and not everything will be available in the early phases of reopening – for example, many programmes and classes that were running before the coronavirus pandemic will not be available to begin with. These classes will open at later dates as part of the gradual, phased reintroduction of services.
Throughout this process the council has been following government guidelines and will continue to do so. If necessary, the timing of the phasing could be altered depending on the latest advice, and it might be that not all leisure centres are able to open as soon as the 25 July. The council wants to help residents to stay active and are aware that many swimming clubs are keen to get back in the pools. However, the safety of residents is paramount and access to leisure facilities may vary from town to town to reflect the latest government guidance.
Better leisure centres will be communicating to customers to advise specifically how each programme and access to activity will work.