West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Customers return to West Berkshire's Leisure Centres

More than 750 people have visited West Berkshire Council's leisure centres since they opened last weekend

STOCK IMAGE - woman in a gym using a kettle bell

Six leisure centres opened from Saturday 25 July following changes to the social distancing guidance which required them to close. At this stage only fitness gym and selected classes are available so that centres can get used to the new arrangements and make any adjustments required to ensure safety. 

To keep everyone safe, all activities must currently be pre-booked at on the Parkwood Leisure website or via their app.  Limited numbers are allowed into the centre, and also in individual sessions, and changing rooms are closed so customers should come ready dressed for their activity. No cash transactions can be taken this time. 

Unfortunately it is not yet possible to open the swimming pools safely. This is partly due to the challenges of social distancing in the pool to ensure staff and swimmers are safe, and also the practicalities of making sure the pool can open safely - such as any adaptations that need to be made to the facilities and the water quality checks that need to be undertaken. 

Howard Woollaston, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Public Health and Community Wellbeing, Leisure and Culture said:

"We're delighted that the centres have been reopened. 

"There are new measures in place to keep people safe but the disruption is minimal and we know that two-thirds of visitors have been happy to come back for a second visit. 

"Although we'd have liked to have opened the swimming pools we are not alone in facing challenges and we've heard anecdotally that only around 20 percent of pools nationally have reopened. Staff are working hard behind the scenes to open the pools as soon as it is safe to do so."