LEISURE centres in West Lancashire will reopen this weekend, but with a string of new safety measures in place, including reduced opening hours and a new appointment system in place.
Other changes will involve wider lanes in swimming pools and a cap on the number of people allowed into fitness suites to ensure social distancing.
It has been confirmed that Banks Leisure Centre, Burscough Racquets and Fitness Centre, Nye Bevan Pool in Skelmersdale and Park Pool in Ormskirk will all reopen on Saturday, July 25, but with reduced opening hours.
West Lancashire Borough Council say they have been working closely with West Lancashire Community Leisure Trust and Serco to develop a detailed plan to reopen leisure facilities safely.
This will allow them to fully assess levels of public demand and confidence following the COVID closures and will also allow enhanced cleaning protocols to be put in place.
Government guidance regarding the safe reopening of leisure centres will be strictly adhered to and will involve enhanced social distancing.
This will mean that customers will need to pre-book for all activities including those that they would normally just turn up for such as using the fitness suite and casual swimming.
Numbers in the fitness suite will be reduced to allow safe space for one user per 100 square feet and wider lanes will be in place within swimming pools.
Councillor Yvonne Gagen, Deputy Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Human Resources, said: “We are delighted to be able to reopen our leisure centres again after a closure of over three months. These facilities are vital in providing residents of West Lancashire with opportunities to exercise and improve their physical and mental health.
“From an economic perspective the closure period has also provided significant financial challenges for leisure centres across the country and we are aware of some facilities that have been forced to close permanently during this period.
“Reopening on a phased basis will allow the council time to carefully assess levels of demand without committing significant cost."
Full details of the reopening plans are available on the West Lancashire Leisure website www.westlancsleisure.com