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Extra safety measures for leisure centres

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Plans to re-open the borough’s leisure centres next week have been confirmed, with just one change to Dudley leisure centre’s opening date.

Halesowen and Stourbridge’s Crystal leisure centres will be re-opening their gyms and offer fitness classes and badminton as planned from Monday August 3, with the pools to re-open on Thursday August 6. The leisure pool at Crystal will remain closed.

However, thorough site investigations and a review of the stringent new measures required for Covid-safe certification mean that council bosses have taken the decision to slightly delay the re-opening of some facilities at Dudley Leisure Centre.

Dudley will now re-open its pools, classes and for badminton on Thursday 6 August. Additional measures are being put in place before the gym at Dudley will re-open. Members will be kept informed directly. Residents will be able to find all they need to know on the council website.

The council is also producing a virtual walk through of the centres to show visitors what they can expect and be reassured by the wide range of safety measures set to be in place in order to protect visitors and staff.

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

We’re really looking forward to re-opening our leisure centres next week. We’ve taken the decision to slightly delay the re-opening of some of the facilities at Dudley leisure centre until we are completely happy that we have met and exceeded the government’s safety requirements to be Covid-safe.
Visitors will still be able to enjoy a range of facilities, but the gym will not be opening next week. We know it may be disappointing to people who were looking forward to working out at Dudley next week, but we hope people will understand that public safety is paramount and that will always come first.

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

It’s great news that all three of our centres will be open by the end of next week. Leisure centre memberships are valid across all of our sites, so while Dudley’s gym is temporarily closed members are free to use the gyms at Stourbridge and Halesowen.
People can also enjoy exercising in our green spaces. Most of our parks and play areas are now open for business and I’d encourage people to make the most of the outdoors over the summer while we focus on getting our indoor facilities safe and welcoming.

Once the sites are open, 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. Similarly, the leisure pool will not be open at Crystal following guidance from Swim England. 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 re-opened on Monday July 27.

Keep up to date by visiting the council website or sign up for the leisure centres ebulletin.

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