Fitness fans may be able to visit Brightlingsea's leisure centre again from next month – but it won't be business as usual.
The centre is one of six operated by Tendring District Council that has been closed since March 20 – TDC – that is preparing to re-open following independent scientific advice from industry trade body ukactive, of which the council is a member.
For the first month, only over-16s will be allowed to visit while users and staff adapt to changes. All classes and sessions will have to be must be pre-booked online or by phone, so that user numbers can be managed effectively, and people are advised to check opening times as these will be amended to allow deep cleaning to take place. Signs will guide leisure centre users on how to stay safe while using equipment or facilities.
Changing rooms and showers will be unavailable, so visitors are asked to arrive on site wearing appropriate clothing and not to bring gym towels to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Where possible, gym equipment has been moved to allow for social distancing and fitness classes have been relocated into larger areas Some classes may take place outside and water fountains will be out of use. Outdoor sports pitches will also be unavailable except for racket sports.
Along with social distancing restrictions, there will be an increase in the cleaning of equipment and sanitising stations, and screens have been installed in reception areas. Swimming pools at other centres in the district will be open, though the spa at Clacton will remain closed.
Memberships have been frozen during the lockdown, and existing members will also get access for free throughout July as a thank you and in lieu of the days they may have missed in March.
It is proposed that from August memberships will be at 50% rate as not all services will be available, with this policy to be reviewed monthly as government and industry restrictions change. Individual casual prices will remain the same.
Bookings can be made at https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/leisure/leisure-centres-and-pools or by calling 01206 304946.