THE five health and leisure centres across the New Forest will throw open their doors for the first time in months to members for gym and group exercise sessions next week.
Applemore, New Milton and Ringwood will open on Monday 3rd August, with Lymington and Totton reopening on Friday 7th August. But those wanting a swim will have to wait a little longer, with pools not available until mid-August.
New Forest District Council cabinet member for leisure and wellbeing, Cllr Mark Steele, stressed only current members could visit. While the centres had “the same friendly feel”, staff had made a host of changes to ensure the facilities were safe for users.
“People will now be greeted on arrival with a new queueing system, with one queue for the gym and another for group fitness. Information to assist them will be on display, and they will see hand sanitiser dispensers all throughout the centres. We have signs on the floors to direct customers and show the new one-way system around the centres,” he said.
To maintain social distancing class sizes have been reduced and markers placed as a guide on floors, while in the gyms equipment has been shifted around, screens have been installed and gym bookings have been spread out over 15-minute intervals.
Staff and instructors have undergone extra training, activities have to be booked, users and staff will clean gym equipment before and after use with spray and paper cloths, and the centres have been deep cleaned.
“Coming to one of our centres is an enjoyable experience,” Cllr Steele added. What we have worked on means that this will continue to be the case and our customers can relax, knowing that we have given really detailed thought to what is in place to keep them safe.
“We’ve worked to industry guidance, tested everything we’re doing, and I am confident the centres are ready to welcome people back.”
An NFDC spokesperson added that all the swimming pools were planned to reopen by the “middle of August”. They will have slow, medium and fast lanes, and customers will be able to book hourly slots.
Prior to reopening, customers can visit the centres, starting with Applemore, Ringwood and New Milton. No booking is required and staff will be on hand in key areas of the building to show the one-way system and answer any questions.
More information is available at http://leisure.newforest.gov.uk/