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Leisure Centre Reopening

We understand that as our Leisure Centres begin to reopen, you'll have some questions about how things will work in Cookstown, Dungannon, Greenvale and Maghera Leisure Centres.

To help reassure you, you'll find the answers below, and if we haven't answered your specific question, don't hesitate to get in touch. 


What’s happening?

We are delighted to announce that we will be starting to re-open our indoor leisure facilities within Mid Ulster District Council from the 15th July 2020.  We want to thank all our customers for supporting us over the last few months and to all of our staff who have been working hard to get your leisure centres ready to reopen safely.

We have set out a phased approach to the reopening of Mid Ulster District Council’s indoor leisure facilities following the recent NI Executive announcement on Thursday 25th June 2020.  This includes a timeline for the facilities we plan to reopen and the activities we plan to resume between July and October.

Things will be different for when we all return. But rest assured these new operations are put in place to ensure the highest standards of health and safety so you can enjoy your exercise in your Mid Ulster District Council leisure facilities with piece of mind.


What does this mean for customers?

Between July and October, we will begin to reopen selected facilities and their relevant services and activities on a phased basis.


Why aren’t all facilities and activities reopening straight away, or on 10July in line with the NI Executive guidance?

As venues have been closed for several months, we have to plan their reopening in line with the NI Executive and Public Health guidance. Adapting our venues to meet social distancing requirements will take time and we have a responsibility to get it right from the outset. We will consider the individual requirements of each facility and create new operating practices which prioritise the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers.

This means that we can’t just simply reopen our doors: we need to undertake risk assessments, test key building systems, install public sanitizer stations and screens where appropriate, deliver revised hygiene and safety training to our staff and implement new booking systems.

The NI Executive announced on 25 June that indoor gyms can re-open from 10 July 2020, therefore:

  • Dungannon Leisure Centre, Cookstown Leisure Centre and Greenvale Leisure Centre fitness suites will re-open from Wednesday 15th July

  • A timetable of group exercise classes will be available in the above facilities from 20th July 2020

  • Maghera Leisure Centre and Gortgonis Citizen Centre fitness suites will re-open from Monday 27th July

  • A timetable of group exercise classes will be available in Maghera LC from Monday 27th July

  • Dry side changing facilities and soft play areas will remain closed during the initial re-opening phase

The NI Executive announced on 25th June that leisure centres (pools) can re-open from 7th August July 2020, therefore:

  • Dungannon Leisure Centre, Cookstown Leisure Centre and Greenvale Leisure Centre swimming pools will re-open from Friday 7th August

  • Health suites will remain closed during the initial re-opening phase


What cleaning procedures will you have in place?

Buildings are being cleaned prior to opening to the public and we will have regular cleaning procedures in place which are appropriate to each facility. Also before reopening, all staff will undertake revised training to ensure best practice.
 
We will be working hard to follow government and industry Covid-19 guidelines and we have processes in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing and we will be asking all customers that attend our facilities to follow our ‘wiping down’ policy and re-enforced messages will be on display throughout our facilities.


Will you provide customers with hand washing/sanitisation stations?

Yes – hand sanitisation stations will be available within our facilities, though we still advise customers to follow current government guidelines and to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water and/or hand sanitizer.


Will toilet facilities be available in reopened facilities?

Yes – although, as with all areas in our facilities, social distancing measures to include maximum room occupancy numbers will be in place.


Do I need to wear a mask in leisure facilities?

Current Executive guidance does not advise that face masks are worn within leisure facilities - if this advice changes, we will follow government guidelines.


Will I have to book to attend facilities?

Yes – during the initial re-opening phase, sessions will be available for 60 minute slots with 30 mins gaps in between to allow us to clean, replenish our customer cleaning/sanitiser stations and to get ready for the next timeslot. 

There will be a maximum number of spaces available per 60 minute slot and this is to ensure social distancing measures can be achieved as well as giving you the comfort of knowing you are booked in and that there will be a limited number of other customers using the facility as the same time as you. 

The booking system is available on-line and via telephone.   This may change in the coming weeks in line with Government regulations. 


Will a full timetable of activities be available at the facility?

Upon reopening, our facilities will be operating at reduced capacity due to social distancing measures and we may be unable to offer the full timetable of services and activities which were available pre-lockdown. Activities, timetables and maximum numbers for booking will be confirmed via our website, social media and booking portal.


Arriving at our Centres
  • Please don’t enter if you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 – please isolate at home until it is safe to return

  • Ensure you sanitise your hands at the sanitiser station provided

  • Social distancing will be outlined with floor markings and signage

  • Check-in at reception to confirm your booking

  • We have installed new hygiene screens at our reception desks

  • Prepare to make on-site payments using contactless where possible

  • Swipe your card at the turnstiles. Please don’t touch it with your hands – instead push through using your legs

  • Please observe one-way systems and follow directional signage

  • All sessions will be limited to 60 minutes. The 60 minute slot will include the allowance for safe arrival, movement through the centre to your chosen activity and leaving the premises

  • You will not be allowed to move from one activity to another activity during the initial re-opening phase – eg. Can’t go from the gym and then into group exercise class within the same 60 minute visit


Our Staff
  • Have received extensive training in relation to managing Covid-19 in the workplace and enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols

  • Will not be allowed to present for work if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19

  • Will be practicing social distancing while working

  • Please be patient and kind to our staff, while they too are adjusting to these new measures


 Using Our Gyms
  • Things may look and feel different, but it is all in the interest of your safety and having a great workout.  Gym equipment will be spaced out and different areas of the facility may be used to give everybody more space

  • Please come gym-ready as dry side changing facilities will not be open during the initial re-opening phase and leave immediately after your workout

  • Water fountains will not be available so we would encourage you to bring your own water

  • We encourage you NOT to take your sweat towels – we will provide sanitising equipment before and after use

  • Play your part and wipe down equipment before & after personal use. This includes free weights, machines (and mats)

  • Social distancing will be implemented in the gym and studios

  • Avoid going to or touching areas or equipment that you do not need to

  • Use hand sanitiser dispensers regularly and wash hands regularly where possible


Participating in Fitness Classes
  • Class sizes will be reduced to ensure social distancing

  • Book in advance

  • Mats will be provided but we recommend that you bring your own

  • Mats must be cleaned before and after use


Leaving our Centres
  • Observe any one-way systems in place

  • Follow directional signage to exit by designated routes

  • Ensure you sanitise your hands at the sanitiser station provided


What about my membership?


On 16th March 2020, Council closed all of its leisure facilities as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.  Until resumption of leisure services, it was agreed that:

  • All direct debit memberships for memberships and swimming lessons were suspended until further notice

  • Direct Debits would not recommence until facilities are operational again and members have received the appropriate extensions to their membership

  • All ‘paid in full’ members (includes monthly to annual Memberships) would have their membership term extended to reflect the closure

Therefore, all memberships will resume on 15 July 2020 under the following arrangements:

  • Direct debit customers can resume use of the facility from 15th July onwards and their next payment will not be due to be collected until 1st or 15th September 2020 depending on their normal collection date

  • For direct debit customers, the period 15th July – 31st August 2020 will reflect “time owed” as a result of the closure of leisure facilities on 16th March and an additional period to allow for phased re-opening restrictions

  • All existing paid in advance customer accounts will become “active” again on the 15th July 2020

  • For paid in advance customers (ie. 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, 12 month) who still had an active account at 16th March 2020, where a membership was due to expire from the 16th March onwards, the appropriate pro-rata extension will be applied for the duration of time from the 16th March 2020 to their expiry date to also include an additional 31 days (15th July – 14th Aug) to allow for phased re-opening restrictions

  • Where customers are not yet ready to come back but wish to retain their memberships, they can make applications to their leisure centre to freeze their payments from September 2020 up a maximum of 3 months until they are ready to resume – to be processed locally at each leisure centre

Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our customers and staff. We have developed the above guidance for use of our indoor leisure facilities to ensure everyone can feel comfortable when they visit.

We want all customers to enjoy their visit, have fun and feel safe. So, we insist for everyone’s protection that our social distancing and personal hygiene rules are followed by everyone.

We promise to keep you fully posted on any changes to the above, in line with further advice from the Government and Public Health Agency.


We’ll continue to update you here and on social media as we have more information.

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