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Date set for re-opening of leisure centres

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Leisure centres are to re-open next month, council bosses announced today.

Dudley, Halesowen and Stourbridge’s Crystal leisure centres will all re-open their gyms and offer fitness classes from Monday August 3, with the pools set to re-open on Thursday August 6.

Due to the fact the swimming pools will be operating with reduced capacities in order to maintain social distancing, the free swimming for children offer will not be running over the summer holidays. But council bosses have vowed it will be back for October half-term if government restrictions have been relaxed by then.

The leisure pool will not be open at Crystal following guidance from Swim England advising against opening the wave machine, rapids and slides. Lane swimming will be put into operation at the 25m pool at Crystal and at Dudley and Halesowen pools to manage capacity.

Customers will need to pre-book sessions and pay online in advance, with cleaning taking place in between each session.

The centres have been shut since March due to government restrictions imposed to control the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dell Stadium in Brierley Hill will re-open on Monday July 27, council bosses have also confirmed.

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member responsible for leisure centres, said:

We’re pleased to be able to announce the re-opening of our leisure centres.
Ensuring safety is still key. We have fitted safety screens in key areas, ordered additional PPE and planned increased cleaning regimes to ensure people can visit the centres in confidence they will be safe.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

As much as we would love to put free swimming on for children this summer, public health is paramount and we must follow the guidance.
Swim England has recommended fewer people should be allowed in the pools at any one time to ensure social distancing.
We will regularly review the situation moving forwards and we very much hope to reinstate the scheme for October half-term if government guidance allows us to.

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