Indoor gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools to reopen from today – Basingstoke Gazette

Gyms, leisure centres and indoor pools will be able to reopen today in the latest lockdown easing measures.
But some facilities across Basingstoke and Andover will remain shut as fears grow over their long term futures.
Yesterday, it was made mandatory for shoppers to wear a face covering inside stores, except for those with a medical condition. It comes after they were required on public transport last month.
Indoor gyms have been closed since March as part of measures to stop the spread of coronavirus, but they have been given the clearance to reopen today, with social distancing measures in force.
These will include limiting the number of people using the facility and spacing out equipment.
Facilities should also reduce class sizes and ensure adequate ventilation, plus enhanced cleaning, whilst one-way systems are likely to be in force, as well as users being encouraged to shower and change at home.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “The reopening of gyms is the news millions across the country have been waiting for with many people desperate to jump on a spinning bike or dive into a pool.
“Our comprehensive guidance will ensure gyms, pools and leisure centres have the support they need to reopen safely for their customers and staff.
“Helping people return to gyms safely will also help the nation get match-fit to defeat this virus.”
However, many facilities in Basingstoke and Andover will remain closed for the time being.
Community Leisure UK, the members’ association that specialises in representing charitable leisure and culture trusts across England, Scotland and Wales, estimate that 48% of all public leisure facilities face closure, meaning as many as 1,300 could disappear by the end of the year, along with more than 58,000 jobs.
The organisation said many will not be able to reopen on Saturday due to the increased costs resulting from lost income during lockdown and due to operating at reduced capacity.
“We’re expecting at least 35% not to open tomorrow,” Mark Tweedie, chief executive of Community Leisure UK, told the PA news agency.
“The main reason is financial viability, because as with all of the high streets and services – zero income since the end of March,” he said.
Mr Tweedie also pointed out that swimming pools, which are a key attraction of many leisure centres, cost a lot of money to run.
He said: “So what some operators are doing is saying ‘well we can’t open at all because we’ve just got mainly pools only’, or ‘if we’ve got a pool and a gym, we’ll just open the gym and not the pool because that will help us recover financially’.
“And some are being bold and saying ‘look we’ll open the whole lot’,” he said, adding that in some areas it may be decided to just open one pool and direct as much capacity to that one as possible.
Leisure centres, gyms and pools in Basingstoke:
Leisure centres, gyms and pools in Andover:
Have we missed your gym? Email ryan.evans@basingstokegazette.co.uk.
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