Council announces final phase of reopening for leisure centres
08 February 2022
Council leisure centre users will be delighted to hear that February 14th will see a full return of all leisure services, completing a phased return to sport as Covid19 restrictions have relaxed in recent months.
That will mean a return to changing with no restrictions, the reopening of health suite facilities including steam rooms, saunas and cryotherapy spas and increased capacity in classes. This will mean shorter waiting times for classes with more spaces being made available.
Welcoming the news, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Graham Warke, said it was another positive indication that we are returning to more normal ways of life. "I am pleased that we can confirm this final phase of reopening, leisure users have been very patient as we have made the adjustments needed to continue to reintroduce services safely.
"While there is still need for caution as Covid transmission remains high within our community, it is great to see that we can begin to enjoy the activities we all love in a more relaxed and familiar environment. Exercise is vitally important for both our mental and physical health and wellbeing, and the full return of leisure services means that more people can access the wide range of classes and activities now available across our centres.
"I want to thank all Council's leisure staff for working so hard under very difficult circumstances to maintain standards and safeguard the public."
Among the permitted changes is the reopening of some sports halls, increased numbers at birthday parties, and the reintroduction of outdoor changing. While online or phone booking is still recommended to secure places, it is not essential to book for many activities such as swimming and gym classes. Users will no longer be required to pre-book the Fitness Suite.
Director of Health and Communities with Council, Karen McFarland, said staff are delighted to see the further relaxation of restrictions. "Throughout the pandemic we have faced many challenges, beginning with the initial closure of leisure, then the gradual return to some services, which I know hasn't been ideal for members.
"I am delighted to see the full reopening of our services – just in time to prepare for summer and as we look forward to brighter days ahead. It's a really positive step and I know all our staff are glad to see a return to normal ways of working.
"I want to reassure our members that we are still operating strictly in line with the public health guidance to ensure our staff and visitors remain safe. I would also appeal to anyone using our facilities to exercise caution, heed the advice about washing and sanitizing hands and to be mindful of those around them and give plenty of space to others."
Anyone using Council leisure facilities is encouraged to wear masks where possible indoors and sanitisation stations will still be made available to encourage good hand hygiene.
The changes will apply to all Council facilities including Foyle Arena, Templemore Sports Complex, Brooke Park, Riversdale Leisure Centre, Melvin Sports Complex, and Derg Valley Leisure Centres.
Among the classes available at Council leisure centres are Yoga, Body Combat, Zumba, Circuits and Studio Cycling, you can check out what classes and activities are offered near you and book by downloading the Leisure App from the App Store or Google Play.
For the latest information on individual activities and all Council leisure services go to derrystrabaneleisure.com