As of today, Beau Sejour has become the first community leisure centre in the British Isles to reopen its doors to the public, following the covid-19 pandemic.
However, the centre is operating on reduced hours, from 07:00 until 19:00.
Staff at Beau Sejour have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure all aspects of the centre can work in line with Public Health guidance and, for that reason, customers may have a slightly different experience to what they are used to.
“We’ve had to adapt quite a lot of our activities to comply with the social distancing guidelines, and limit numbers for quite a lot of activities," explained Head of Recreation Services, Sam Herridge. "This has meant the introduction of a booking system for all of our activities – even those for which customers can usually just turn up and take part, such as swimming.
Pictured: Swimmers will have to book hour-long slots.
"We understand there are some significant changes and usage, as a result, will be limited, but we’re hoping the community understands that these measures have been introduced to keep the community and our staff team as safe as possible in this phase of exit out of lockdown.”
Customers will have to visit a 'Welcome Desk' when they first enter the building and public swimming will only be able to take place in lanes, with a maximum of 30 users bookable in hour-long slots.
Swimmers are asked to arrive at the centre 'beach ready', as the swimming pool can only be accessed via the cafe and there will be stations around the poolside to leave belongings. Showers and changing rooms will be available for use at the end of the booked slot. Meanwhile, the small pool will be split into two lanes, available to book by people who were part of the same extended bubble in Phase Three.
The BodyZone gym will also be bookable for hourly slots, with a maximum of 10 users at one time.
Fitness classes will be run in the Dave Ferguson Hall from Saturday, to allow for social distancing, and the cafe will be operating a take away service only.
Pictured: Beau Sejour will once again be open to the public.
But, some activities still can't take place, including birthday parties, Kiddy Kapers, gym sessions and contact sports such as squash.
“Although games of squash can’t be played, customers can book courts for individual practice – or for one-to-one coaching, where the coach isn’t playing and maintains social distancing at all times.
“We appreciate there are some significant changes to the way we operate during these unprecedented times, and ask our customers and members to be understanding as we get to grips with these new operating standards. These will no doubt change as time progresses but in the meantime; please bear with us.”
Bookings are being taken now.
Beau Sejour isn't the only community centre to be opening up again though, with the Guille-Allès Library also opening today. Visitors will be able to borrow or return items between 10:00 and 15:00 from Monday to Friday.
Pictured: The library is opening today.
“We are really looking forward to welcoming people back to the library," said Head Librarian, Laura Milligan.
"Some creative thinking has been needed to enable social distancing in our characterful old building, but thanks to a real team effort we are now at a point where we are ready to open the doors. We’d like to thank everyone for their patience as we all work towards the ‘new normal’.”
Pictured top: Beau Sejour.
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