NEW Forest District Council’s leisure centres will stay shut for two weeks after they closed their doors on Tuesday night to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The authority made the announcement on its website in the afternoon and said it intended to reopen them on 31st March.
The leisure centres contain gyms, sports halls and swimming pools in Lymington, New Milton, Ringwood, Applemore and Totton.
NFDC said the measure was following government advice and added: “We understand this will be disappointing for our customers and we thank you for your understanding.
“We are working with the local schools to assist with their requirements and are hopeful to be able to meet their needs whilst maintaining the safety and welfare of our staff and their pupils.”
It follows private gym closing around the country, and the Prime Minister urging people to stay at home and avoid pubs and theatres.
NFDC said it will not be collecting any Direct Debit membership payments from New Forest leisure centres customers this month.
It added: “Over the next 48 hours we will be attempting to contact all customers booked onto sessions within our centres.
“Can we kindly ask those customers who are currently booked on classes to kindly remove themselves from their booked sessions via the APP/Connect?
“This will assist us in reducing the number of customers we will need to contact by phone. We thank you for your help in this matter.”
The council has already cancelled all non-essential meetings and some staff are working from home.
For NFDC service updates online go to www.newforest.gov.uk/article/19348/Coronavirus-Information-about-council-services.