Link4Life reopens leisure facilities

Date published: 27 July 2020

Link4Life operated gyms and leisure facilities reopened on Saturday (25 July), along with many other privately-run facilities across the borough after months of government-enforced closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Leisure centres and indoor gyms, along with swimming pools and other indoor sports facilities, had been closed since Saturday 21 March as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Venues must ensure they can enable customers, staff and volunteers to maintain social distancing before, during and after participation. Outdoor gyms were permitted to reopen from 4 July while ensuring social distancing.

In light of the local guidance being issued to prevent a local lockdown and following Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s decision to delay reopening leisure facilities, we asked for clarification about the reopening of local facilities on the same date as the rest of England.

To control the spread of coronavirus in Blackburn with Darwen, which as of Friday (24 July) had overtaken Leicester as the region with the highest rate of Covid-19 cases, the government and local authority agreed to not reopen indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, sports courts and swimming pools in that area.

Responding to the query on Friday 24 July, a spokesperson for Link4Life said: “We are aware that Blackburn and Darwen council have delayed the re-opening of their leisure facilities until 10 August due to increased cases of coronavirus, much higher than those reported in the Rochdale borough. All gyms re-opening in the borough are following Public Health England and government advice to allow the safe opening.

“Link4Life leisure centres will re-open on Saturday 25 July, following government guidance and stringent preparation for the safe re-opening in a controlled way. All of their new procedures, safety measures, risk assessments, cleaning and training has been developed alongside leading industry bodies like ukactive and Swim England and with guidance from Public Health Rochdale to ensure that centres offer the safest possible environment for members and staff.”

The council is urging all residents to follow the latest guidance: 

  • Wear face coverings in public as much as possible
  • Limit visitors to your home to two people
  • Keep two metres apart at all times
  • Avoid physical contact with anyone outside your own household, including shaking hands or hugging
  • Get tested and isolate if you are told to do so

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