Coronavirus: Post-lockdown re-opening plans for Hackney’s leisure centres and gyms announced

Clissold Leisure Centre. Picture: David Holt/Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Clissold Leisure Centre. Picture: David Holt/Flickr/Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0) - Credit: Archant

Plans for re-opening Hackney’s leisure centres and gyms following the coronavirus lockdown have been announced.

Gyms, studios and pools will reopen at Clissold Leisure Centre in Stoke Newington, Kings Hall Leisure Centre in Lower Clapton, London Fields Lido and Queensbridge Sports and Community Centre on Saturday.

The gym and studios at Britannia Leisure Centre in Hoxton will reopen the same day, ahead of the pool which will open at a later date, which Better Leisure - the charitable social enterprise which operates leisure facilities on behalf of Hackney Council - has not yet set.

Anyone who wants to use the facilities must pre-book a one-hour time slot via the Better app or website.

Inside centres, signage and floor markings will assist with one-way access and social distancing. Some gym equipment will be removed to make sure that users can maintain a two metre distance, and some fitness classes will be relocated to sports halls or - weather permitting - the open air.

Swimmers are being told to arrive “beach ready” with their costume on under their clothes to save time and reduce overcrowding in changing rooms.

Gym and studio customers will be encouraged to bring their own drinking water, and mat if needed, and shower and change at home.

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A new cleaning regime is being implemented, and customers will be told to wipe down the equipment that they have used.

All Better members will be given access to all Better facilities within Hackney until the situation returns to normal.

Those who don’t feel confident returning to the centres initially or who might have health conditions that put them at higher risk of infection from Covid-19 will be given the option to continue to freeze their memberships. Free access to online fitness and exercises classes will still be available.

Katie Foulger, manager for Better in Hackney, said: “After nearly four months of lockdown, we are delighted to finally have the green light for reopening our leisure facilities in a phased fashion. Keeping people safe is now a shared responsibility and as a leisure operator we will be working in partnership with customers to ensure they have complete confidence when they return.