Public leisure centres in Oxford are getting ready to reopen and welcome back customers from 12 April, when government lockdown restrictions on leisure centres are expected to be lifted.
Ferry Leisure, Barton Leisure and Leys Pools and Leisure Centres are getting set to open their doors to customers. This adds to the swimming at Hinksey Outdoor Pool which will already be open for the public.
Initially, not all facilities will be open at every site. On 12 April, Ferry Leisure Centre will open its gym and swimming pool (adult lane swimming only), and Leys Pools and Leisure Centre will open for gym only.
More facilities will open on 19 April, with a phased swimming programme beginning at Leys Pools and Leisure and Barton Leisure Centre opening for gym only. The pool at Barton is expected to open in the last week of April.
COVID safety rules will apply. Until 17 May at the earliest, exercise will be restricted to personal fitness only, with no groups or classes in the centres. Online classes will continue to be available.
Oxford Ice Rink is also expected to open when restrictions are lifted, on 17 May at the earliest, subject to British Ice Skating and Government guidance.
The centres will be operating a booking system to ensure the number of people using the facilities can be well managed. Changing rooms will be closed, and gym users and swimmers will need to arrive ready changed for exercise.
Government rules from 12 April will restrict indoor exercise to individuals and households only. Classes and personal training sessions will not be available until the government rules allow.
As with the reopening of leisure last year, there will be increased cleaning of the rooms and equipment, and hand sanitiser will be available throughout the centres. People are reminded to stay home if they do not feel well to protect others.
Ian Brooke, Head of Community Services at Oxford City Council, said, “We have heard from our leisure user groups how important the leisure centres are to them. We are opening as much as we can as early as we can. We look forward to seeing people back enjoying the gym and swimming facilities as soon as they are open.”
Hinksey Outdoor Pool reopened on 29 March, but spring swimmers will experience bracing temperatures in the first week as work is carried out to fix the heating system.