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MEASURES WITHDRAWN: Wirral leisure centres capacity boost

MEASURES WITHDRAWN: Wirral leisure centres capacity boost

A leisure facility in Wirral, Image: Wirral Council

Several Wirral leisure centres will boost their capacity next week, after almost 18 months of disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From Monday, September 20, West Kirby Concourse, Europa Pools, Guinea Gap Leisure Centre and Wirral Tennis Centre will be operating at increased capacity for customers visiting the gyms, swimming pools and exercise classes.

Fitness facilities at Leasowe and Oval Leisure Centres will continue to operate as normal.

Woodchurch Leisure Centre will remain a dedicated vaccination site, with the sports hall at the Oval Leisure Centre also continuing to be used for vaccinations.

Centres across Wirral have been taking various measures, such as operating at reduced capacity, to decrease the risk of Covid-19 spreading since they were allowed to reopen in the year.

On Monday, increased capacity and access will see many of these measures withdrawn for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Covid-19 safety notices will be displayed within each leisure centre, in an attempt to keep the facilities as safe as possible.

Access to swimming pools and gyms will increase and it will no longer be essential for customers to pre-book and pay prior to arrival, however customers are advised that pre-booking and paying for activities online will guarantee access.

Exercise class capacity will also be increased where possible at these sites, and outdoors where applicable. These classes must still be pre-booked online, at centres or by telephone prior to session start time.

Access to sports halls, squash courts, and cafes will follow in the coming weeks.

The Sail Loft Bistro/Restaurant at West Kirby will also be increasing to full occupancy on Monday, alongside catering facilities at the Floral Pavilion.

Cllr Helen Cameron, chair of Wirral Council’s tourism and leisure committee, said: “I am sure this news will be warmly welcomed by residents, particularly as we move towards winter and options for outdoor exercise become more limited.

“However, the virus has not gone away and for us to be able to successfully sustain a full and unrestricted offer will very much depend on the personal responsibility of those using leisure centre facilities so I would urge all leisure centre users to follow the guidance to help control spread of the virus.”

The Conservative councillor added: “From our side we will be taking extra steps to ensure our centres [are] cleaned and sanitised beyond the already high standard we expect in our centres to ensure our customers are, and feel, as safe as possible during their visits.”

The provision of services will be monitored against local Covid-19 data, and kept under review on a six-weekly cycle.

The council said sustainability of services has been at the forefront of its approach and that in the event of localised outbreaks at sites, or staff shortages, operations may have to be suspended.

You can find more info about Wirral leisure centres and Invigor8 membership here (wirralleisure.co.uk).

 

Words: George Morgan, Local Demcoracy Reporter


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