The new rules as more than 1,000 use South Tyneside leisure centres on first day after lockdown
As lockdown measures are eased, more than 1,000 people headed to the gym and jumped in the swimming pool on the first day leisure centres reopened.
South Tyneside Council reopen its leisure sites on Monday, July 27, with a revised swim, gym and fitness class offer as well as new-look gyms, spacious studios and more sessions.
New measures have been put in place to ensure numbers comply with government guidance as users are required to pre-book their session in advance over the phone.
Councillor Tracey Dixon, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “After four months of closure, it’s been very encouraging to see so many people keen to get back to our leisure centres. We’re delighted that the feedback received from those visiting on the first day of reopening has been really positive.
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“We have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to get our centres reopened as soon as possible. South Tyneside is also the first council locally to reopen with a full programme of activity and, as such, demand is very high.
“When we reopened our phone lines over the weekend, we received more than 15,000 calls to Haven Point alone. Understandably, when people call up, they have lots of queries about the new arrangements.
“We do expect this demand to settle over time and we would like to reassure people that there are plenty of swim, gym and fitness classes available for users to enjoy. Bookings can also be made by calling any of our centres – it doesn’t have to be the one they intend to visit.
“We continue to monitor the new arrangements very closely to make sure our centres are running as safely and efficiently as possible and look at what additional measures may be needed."
For those with monthly memberships, direct debit payments will not resume until September 1. For other users, contactless payment is preferred at this time when they visit the centre.
Customers are asked to only attend the centre if they have a pre-booked a session only. This will help to avoid extra delay for those who are attending for their pre-booked sessions.
Non-members can only book on the same day subject to availability.