Posted: Mon 10th Aug 2020

Lockdown Changes: Swimming pools, gyms and leisure centres can reopen in Wales from today

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Aug 10th, 2020

Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms and leisure centres will be able to re-open today for the first time since lockdown measures were introduced in March. 

Children’s indoor play areas will also be able to open their doors again as part of the latest changes to the coronavirus regulations in Wales.

However, areas such as ball pits, which cannot be easily cleaned, should remain closed.

One locally-owned fitness club will open its doors at 4am for those eager to get back in the gym after months away. 

Énergie Fitness on Deeside Retail Park has spent the past few weeks getting ready for re-opening and has reconfigured the internal design layout to specifically meet the new Covid safety standards.

They will limit the number of people who are allowed in a club at any one time with members able to book 60-minute work out slots.

Joint manager Nathalie Stephens said: “We have gone above and beyond to ensure the club is safe, clean and fit for purpose for when we re-open.

The equipment has been spaced out appropriately with floor gridding to ensure distancing, five sanitising stations have been installed to ensure cleanliness is well maintained and safety signage has been displayed all around the club to keep people informed and aware at all times of the day.”

Aura Leisure which runs most of the leisure centres in Flintshire will begin a phased re-opening of its facilities.

Having been given the green light to reopen, Aura has said Jade Jones Pavilion Flint and Mold Leisure Centre will open the doors on today.

However, they will only reopen for gym and fitness class customers initially.

The swimming pools at Jade Jones Pavilion Flint and Mold Leisure Centre will open from 17 August but only for “lane and club swimming,” children’s swimming lessons will resume in September Aura has said.

More details here: https://www.deeside.com/aura-will-begin-the-phased-reopening-of-leisure-centres-and-gyms-in-flintshire-from-monday/

First Minister Mark Drakeford has urged businesses to follow the rules that apply in premises that have now re-opened and in workplaces.

Welsh law requires measures to be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus on these premises. This includes ensuring that people maintain a two metre distance where possible and taking other measures to avoid close interaction; such as screens, face coverings and improving hygiene.

Information also has to be provided to customers and staff to help them understand what they need to do in order to stay safe on the premises.

The Welsh Government is strengthening the powers local authorities have to enforce these requirements. This enables enforcement officers to issue a Premises Improvement Notice to highlight breaches and specify measures that need be taken on premises to comply with the law.

Where a Premises Improvement Notice is not complied with, or if there is a serious breach, premises can be closed by issuing a Premises Closure Notice.

Where notices are issued signs will be displayed in a prominent place to inform people that improvement is needed or that a premises has had to close.

First Minister said:

We continue to take a step-by-step approach to easing the lockdown, closely monitoring the impact of each change we make.

As more parts of our society and economy reopen, it is vital we all keep in mind our personal responsibility to do the right thing and make sure we continue to protect ourselves and others from the virus.

This means keeping a two metre distance from others, washing our hands often and wearing a facemask on public transport.

These are simple steps to take that benefit us all. The rules we have in place are not optional, they are there to protect us all. They are essential if Wales is to avoid another lockdown.

As more and more premises are allowed to open, specific rules that apply to those premises, and to all workplaces, are particularly important because they are designed to keep us safe.

For the small minority of individuals and businesses who are not complying with the law, I want to make it clear that we will take action and we won’t hesitate to close individual premises if that is necessary.

Local authorities are being enhanced powers to intervene, and to respond more effectively to complaints including those reported to the Wales TUC and its affiliated unions.

As we have seen in many places around the world, this pandemic is far from over and we must remain vigilant. There is a significant risk cases in Wales could rise again and we will have to take further action if this were to happen. Only by us all continuing to do our part can we keep Wales safe.”

The Welsh Government is continuing to explore whether changes can be made to the rules to enable people to meet indoors with other people who aren’t part of their household or extended household from August 15.

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