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Better leisure centres and gyms in Barnet announce reopening plans

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Better Leisure, the charitable social enterprise that operates 5 leisure facilities on behalf of Barnet Council, has announced its plans for a phased reopening from Saturday 25 July 2020.

Better staff show the council the new lay-out at Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre

Better staff show the council the new lay-out at Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre

In the initial reopening phase, gyms, studios and pools will reopen at Burnt Oak, Hendon, Copthall and New Barnet Leisure Centres, while facilities at Finchley Lido Leisure Centre will open at a later date.

Following Covid Secure guidance, anyone wishing to use the facilities will need to 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. Equipment within gym areas will be reduced to ensure that 2 metres social distancing between users is maintained, while some fitness classes will be relocated to sports halls or even, weather permitting, the open air. 

Swim customers are requested to arrive 'beach ready' with their costume on under their clothes to save time and reduce pressure on change areas. Gym and studio customers will be encouraged to bring their own drinking water – and shower and change at home.

Staff will be adopting a new, enhanced cleaning regime, while customers will be asked to wipe down the equipment that they have used. Hand sanitiser will be available throughout leisure centre buildings.

All Better members will be given access to all Better facilities within the UK for the foreseeable future. 

They will also be given the option to continue to freeze their memberships as will any members 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.

Gillan Kelly, Partnership Manager, Better, 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 our top priority. As a leisure operator we will be working in partnership with customers to ensure their visit is safe.  This means things will look a little different, there will be no walk-ups and all visits must be pre-booked.”

“We recognise that some people may be worried about returning to their local leisure facilities, so we will continue to offer free access to online fitness and exercises classes via our Better app.”

“We look forward to seeing you soon.”

Councillor Sachin Rajput, Chairman of the Adults and Safeguarding Committee and Lead Member for Sport and Physical Activity, said: “Keeping our residents fit and healthy has never been more important. We are pleased to be able to reopen our leisure centres during these unprecedented times.

“We have been working with our partners at Better Barnet to ensure that all our facilities are COVID secure. We now look forward to welcoming residents safely back to them, so that they can get back to enjoying everything that our brilliant leisure centres have to offer.”

Information about the reopening will be published through Better’s website: https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centres

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