1Life has announced that it will be re-opening Peterlee Leisure Centre today, Monday, July 27, with Seaham anticipated to follow on August 10.
Following advice and guidance from the Government as well as the fitness trade body ukactive and there independent scientific advisors, not to mention 1Life’s own vigorous health and safety procedures, the final touches are being made to re-open safely for members, the community and staff.
1Life has taken this time to upskill, upgrade and redefine its health and safety procedures as well as its operating standards to ensure social distancing and hygiene is at the highest levels to comply with the government guidelines.
Changes within the facilities mean that it is safe for people to exercise at a suitable distance to other exercisers. Cleaning schedules have been increased and 1Life staff will be carrying out cleaning routines each hour with anti virus agent. Increased sanitisation stations have been installed to ensure the highest possible standards of hygiene and cleanliness.
There will be signs guiding members on how to act safely and responsibly, similar to the signs used in supermarkets, and equipment may be marked as ‘out of use’ or spaced further apart to comply with social distancing rules.
Swimming pools, changing rooms and showers will also be temporally unavailable, and follow at a later point in a phased approach to re-opening to ensure customer and staff safety, meaning that members are asked to arrive on site wearing the appropriate clothing to be active.
Members and customers will be asked to book onto specific exercise slots and sessions via the 1Life app, website or by calling the centre direct. This ensures that the capacity is at appropriate levels and there is adequate time to clean and sanitise the facilities between exercise sessions.
Staff will have access to a range of PPE equipment from gloves, face masks and visors. The temporary measures will be adapted as and when government advice changes throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Mark Braithwaite, CEO of 1Life wants to reassure members and users of the facility that they will be safe. He says: “We are naturally very excited to be re-opening, but we are not doing this lightly. We have used the last 17 plus weeks to upskill, re-educate and re-train our teams on the very latest advice and procedures to ensure a safe service and operation. As the Government and public health experts ease the current restrictions, we want to ensure that members and users feel comfortable and safe using our facilities.”
Fitness and leisure facilities were forced to close by the Government on 20 March, meaning that members have been unable to access some of their favourite activities and sports.
Recent research conducted by Sport England and Savanta ComRes* showed 87% of gym members said they are likely to resume their membership when facilities reopen and 27% of people who are not currently members of gyms said they are likely to join.