Gyms and pools to reopen in Sandwell despite Covid-19 spike
Sandwell’s gyms and swimming pools will reopen next week despite a spike in Covid-19 infections in the borough.
Leisure chiefs have announced a phased opening of leisure centres starting with Haden Hill, Wednesbury, Portway Lifestyle Centre and Tipton Sports Academy.
The announcement comes after Sandwell recorded 89 new cases of Covid-19 in the seven days up to July 24.
Ash Rai, chief executive of Sandwell Leisure Trust (SLT), explained the borough’s nine centres would gradually reopen from August 6 after imposing strict new restrictions.
He said: “Facilities are opening in line with the latest Covid-19 secure guidance and following leading leisure industry practice including UK Active, Swim England and other governing bodies.
“The trust is also working closely with the local authority and Public Health to ensure we are doing everything possible to welcome back customers confidently and safely."
Describing steps to prevent infection, he added: “Social distancing measures, pre-booking, sanitising and enhanced cleaning are all measures supporting the ongoing safety of our staff and our customers.
And he warned: ”We also expect customers to follow instructions and support the trust by taking ownership of their behaviour and the new ways of exercising safely.
“Further facility and activity opening will be kept under continuous review as customer confidence and demand increases. The reopening of facilities will also be subject to the financial viability and ongoing sustainability to do so.”
The trust said it is also working with local clubs to see how other sports can safely resume.
Sandwell Council has said the authority’s public health officials and SLT will continue to review the situation.
Wolverhampton reopened its leisure centres leisure centres on July 25 and Dudley’s sports facilities open their doors from Monday, August 3.
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