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As leisure centres reopen Mayor issues reminder about Covid safety

28 April 2021

Council leisure centres open their doors once more this week to welcome people back for individual training after a lengthy Covid lockdown which has meant no access to pools or indoor gyms since before Christmas.

It's the next step in the phased return to sport with April 30th set as the date for carefully managed indoor activity by the Executive. The next indicative date for activity will see the return to group training including indoor gym classes on May 24th, subject to the conditions being suitable for a safe return.

As final preparations get underway this week, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, today took the opportunity to appeal for everyone to be mindful that the resumption of sporting activities is dependent on full adherence to the restrictions as we take the first steps towards normality.

"I'm sure many people have been counting down the days until they can get back to their favourite training activities," he said. "I know the staff at all our centres are delighted to be welcoming visitors back through the doors this weekend. But while this is a very positive and welcome development it comes with a very firm reminder that we all have a shared responsibility to take these next steps safely and responsibly. Covid is still very much present within our community and we must do all we can to reduce the conditions for the virus to spread.

"There will be measures in place at all our centres to protect both staff and visitors, with additional cleaning, sanitization stations and some facilities such as changing rooms and cafes remaining closed until further notice from the Executive. These are all necessary arrangements to get through this first phase of the return to leisure and we appeal to everyone to please cooperate with staff as they work in line with the regulations. If we do this now it will mean we can move quickly to the next stages which will see the return of more activities, and allow for more people to be safely accommodated in our centres.

"I want to wish everyone the very best as they get back to the gym – if you haven't exercised for a while please ease in to it and set yourself realistic fitness goals. Experienced staff and coaches are there to give advice and Council leisure centres have a full programme of online and outdoor activities for all ages and abilities."

All activities must be booked in advance, including gym sessions and lane swimming. You can find the full programme of outdoor classes at each centre and can book online at www.derrystrabaneleisure.com or contact the centre directly.