Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Easing of Covid restrictions makes little splash in council-run leisure centres

Picture by JASON HEDGES

Rotary Elgin’s Triple Challenge starts with a swimming event at Moray leisure centre, Elgin.

Picture: Sheila Scott
Picture by JASON HEDGES Rotary Elgin’s Triple Challenge starts with a swimming event at Moray leisure centre, Elgin. Picture: Sheila Scott

This weekend’s easing of restrictions will herald no return to full timetables at council-run leisure centres.

From a minute past midnight on Friday, a number of local authorities across Scotland – including Moray, Angus, the Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire – will move down from Level 2 of Covid restrictions to Level 1.

Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre will continue to operate on a reduced timetable.

However, there is little sign of an unlocking of flumes and fun features to echo the screams of water flung youngsters anytime soon.

Facilities will remain on a reduced timetable and pre-booking stays in place.

Leisure centres say intensive cleaning regimes due to Covid, combined with social distancing requirements, tie their hands in terms of fully reopening.

Douglas Wilby, director of sport and leisure for High Life Highland, which runs facilities for Highland Council, says customer satisfaction in the facilities recently rated high.

“All of our gyms and swimming pools remain open in line with the current Scottish Government guidelines in terms of social distancing, pre-booking sessions and classes, allowing for extended cleaning procedures to be undertaken.”

However, the pending change in tiers “means there is no material impact on the service provided currently, and opening hours will remain the same as present”.

The picture is mirrored in Moray, Aberdeen City and Shire.

Moray Leisure Centre.                                                                                                                 Pic by Jason Hedges.

Moray Council says: “We’ve not quite got our full timetables back.

“All of our leisure facilities are open, apart from the Shand Centre in Dufftown, which, owned by NHS Scotland and operated by the council, is being used for NHS services.

“However, there are no beginner swimming lessons permitted yet and no indoor adult contact sport as per Scottish Government guidelines for the Covid protection levels.

“And some spinning classes haven’t resumed as the areas these take place in are very small so don’t provide sufficient space for social distancing.”

A spokesman for Live Life Aberdeenshire, the sports and cultural service of Aberdeenshire Council, said they too continue to operate on a reduced basis, “particularly given limited venue capacity in line with social distancing”.

However, moves are underway, he says, to refine timetables and offer “exciting new” opportunities for leisure and sport “as capacity to do so safely increases”.

He said all leisure facilities are open there, with the exception of Turriff Swimming Pool and Alford Ski Centre, which are undergoing refurbishment.

He added that many of the team were deployed to support “critical council services” and some of their venues have and continue to be used as vaccination centres.

 

Sport Aberdeen says the changing restrictions will make little change to timetables.    Pic by Kenny Elrick.

A spokeswoman for Sport Aberdeen, which operates facilities on behalf of Aberdeen City Council, also said the the response from customers since reopening was “very positive”.

However, the move to Level 1 “will make minimal change to our existing timetables and venue opening times.

“We will await updated guidance from national governing bodies and continue to ensure that our open venues are safe, clean and ready.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]