Bosses working to safely reopen gyms, swimming pools and leisure facilities in South Tyneside after latest lifting of lockdown measures

Council bosses say they won’t be reopening leisure facilities in the borough until they are ‘confident’ they can do so safely.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 5:00 pm

It comes as the Government revealed the latest lifting of lockdown restrictions on Thursday, July 9.

Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden announced that indoor pools, gyms and other sports facilities will be allowed to reopen from July 25.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has also published guidance to enable competitive grassroots team sports to resume, beginning with cricket this weekend.

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Bosses are working to reopen council-owned gyms and swimming pools safely.

Outdoor arts performances - including theatres, opera, dance and music - will be able to resume from Saturday, July 11, although audience numbers will be restricted and will be subject to social distancing rules.

Beauty salons and tattooists can begin seeing clients again from Monday, July 13.

Indoor gyms and swimming pools throughout the borough have been closed since the country went into lockdown in March and were forced to remain closed while other areas of the hospitality and leisure industry reopened earlier this month.

Bosses say they are now working on the reopening of council-owned gyms, swimming pools and leisure facilities in South Tyneside in line with the new Government guidance, but have no confirmed dates for when this might be.

They have stressed that the health and safety of residents is the ‘main priority’ and facilities would not be reopening until they could ‘ensure the safety’ of staff and visitors.

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson said: “We are keen to see people getting active again and enjoying the borough’s sports and leisure facilities. Participation in exercise is extremely important for both physical and mental wellbeing, more so at this time.

“However, the health and safety of residents and our staff is the main priority right now. We are working through the newly issued Government guidance to look at how we can reopen our leisure services safely in line with the rules around social distancing.

“We will not be reopening any of our leisure facilities, gyms or swimming pools until we are confident that the measures we put in place will ensure the safety of those visiting and working in our leisure centres.”

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