Coronavirus – what you need to know
Following yesterday’s great news from the Government that leisure centres can reopen in a couple of weeks’ time, we are now working hard to make sure our centres are safe for you when we reopen.
Please keep an eye out on our website, app and social media as we will soon be announcing the date for when we will reopen Active Tameside centres.
We’re really looking forward to welcoming you back soon!
In line with the current government guidance, our centres still remain closed. However, we are currently finalising plans to reopen our centres in the near future with the safety of our staff, members and community at the forefront.
We understand that many of you may have concerns about returning to social spaces such as leisure centres and we want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to ensure your safety when health and fitness programmes resume.
Social distancing measures will be put in place and safety guidance will be published and made accessible to all members and visitors to our centres.
We hope that with a combined effort and awareness from everyone, we can reunite at our much loved and missed leisure centres and enjoy our facilities once again.
Thank you for supporting us throughout this time, we will be in touch very soon with further updates. We hope to see you soon.
A message from Chris Rushton, our CEO:
To All Leisure Centre Users,
There have been lots of different messages from all corners of the UK and Europe around the reopening of leisure centres and the facilities within them, and we at Active Tameside just wanted to keep you informed of developments in making this a reality.
I write following the Government’s announcement on 23rd June, that leisure centres will not be allowed to open from 4th July, contrary to recent speculation.
However, throughout the sector, preparations are now underway to reopen within the context of a ‘new normal’ and first and foremost within the context of this, is our commitment to the health and wellbeing of both staff and customers for the reopening of our gyms and leisure centres. Led by ukactive, the leisure sector has been working hard with public and private fitness and leisure operators to create a framework for the reopening of gym and leisure facilities during an anticipated period of social distancing, following the full closure of the sector due to COVID-19.
We are working tirelessly to get our leisure buildings ready, following the guidance of the ukactive framework, guidance from Public Health England, National Governing Bodies and Government updates, to ensure that we have our leisure facilities ready for public use and that they follow social distancing, cleanliness and hygiene protocols.
It is well known that regular exercise provides a positive influence on people’s physical and mental health & wellbeing, and we are very much looking forward to opening our doors and helping the people of Tameside enjoy these forms of exercise again. However, there will be changes within our buildings as to what can be accessed and with only three ‘spaces’ open to the general public:
As a consequence of social distancing measures in particular, each of these spaces will be operating at significantly reduced capacity, essentially in order to optimise infection control protocols;
- Usage will be permissible only on a pre-booked basis, as is currently the case for Group Exercise (studios).
- Payment will be made at the time of booking (online). Non-members will be able to book and pay via a ‘booking’ number, which will be issued free of charge. Details on how to obtain this will be added to our website soon.
As we move closer to being able to announce an opening date, we will look to keep you informed as much as possible and it only leaves me to say on behalf of everyone here at Active Tameside; that we miss you all and are very much looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
A message from our CEO, Chris Rushton 10/06/2020
We can’t wait to welcome you back!
Leisure Centres currently feature in Phase 3 of the Government’s lockdown recovery programme which means we are unable to reopen until July 4th at the earliest.
Nevertheless, we’ve been working very hard to ensure that we can open our centres as soon as possible after we’re given permission to do so.
Customer safety is at the heart of our reopening plans and to ensure this, we will be adopting an approach known as the ‘4 S’s framework’ which is considered best practice in the leisure sector:
Customers using our facilities will be obliged to respect 2m social distancing requirements and this will be facilitated via both the spacing of equipment and the programming of spaces.
An enhanced cleaning regime will be in place alongside revised customer etiquette guidelines with particular regard to hand sanitisation and gym/studio equipment.
New signage/floor markings will be in place to assist customers in adhering to social distancing requirements.
Our staff will undergo intensive training which will enable them to assist customers in every aspect of ‘the new normal’ in a friendly and supportive manner.
By working closely with Tameside Borough Council’s Population Health team, we will seek to ensure that our centres operate in line with advice from both the Government and Public Health England.
However, social distancing requirements in particular will inevitably result in significant reductions to capacity and this will result in:
- A phased reopening schedule in terms of both centres and activities
- New booking processes for both members and non-members
- New payment methods for non-members
What about my membership?
There is no need to contact us, we’ll be in touch with members in order to share detailed information prior to reopening. In the interim, please be assured that:
- We will give you notice before we restart direct debit payments
- Paid in full memberships will be extended as appropriate
- We will seek to recognise both member loyalty and indeed the challenges of our safety first approach
Finally, we really appreciate your patience during the course of lockdown and the many messages of support and solace.
Please continue to stay safe.
Update as of 20/03/2020
Important Announcement: Active Tameside venue closures – Coronavirus
In line with national guidance advising the UK public to avoid unnecessary social contact, we have taken the decision to close all Active Tameside venues to the public from 10.30pm on Friday March 20th.
We understand that this decision will come as a disappointment to many but ultimately, the health and wellbeing of our customers, staff and the community we serve is our highest priority.
Given the day-by-day evolution of the pandemic and its impact on society as a whole, we are unable to give any indication of the closure period though we will provide updates as and when we have them. During this time we will continue to follow the advice provided by Government, Public Health England and the NHS.
We will of course be contacting customers with regard to block bookings and memberships etc but please bear with us as we seek to assist everyone to the fullest possible extent, potentially with a significantly depleted workforce.
In line with many of the services provided by the Council, we will look to innovate in order to perpetuate the delivery of services to our most vulnerable users. Indeed, our dedicated staff will be made available to assist the Council as it strives to maintain vital services across the care spectrum.
Active Tameside is a charity which aspires to assist everyone within the borough to live their best life and to this end we’ll get back to normal as soon as possible. In the meantime, please stick with us as we’re undoubtedly stronger together as your very kind messages of support attest.
These are uncertain times for all of us but with mutual support we will pull through so please, take and give care.
If you are one of our paying members, please see below for how this affects your membership.
- All swimming lessons run by Active Tameside will cease from 10.30pm on Friday March 20th.
- Swimming lesson customers who pay by direct debit will have their payment automatically frozen initially for a period of three months with no freeze charge to be applied – at the end of the three months’ freeze period, you will be automatically re-instated, pending the PHE advisory situation whereby if an extension to this freeze period is required, it will be applied with no charge.
- If you are a swimming lesson customer who pays in 14-week blocks, you will be entitled to credits for the remaining lessons that you have already paid for.
- Please note all swimming lesson members will hold their place in their current class, day and time when freezing, wherever possible.
Health and fitness memberships
- With the decision to close all Active Tameside venues to the public from 10.30pm on Friday March 20th this means access to the gyms, swimming pools, group exercise studio’s and health suits will no longer be available.
- Members who pay by direct debit will have their membership automatically frozen initially for a period of three months with no freeze charge to be applied – at the end of the three months’ freeze period, you will be automatically re-instated, pending the PHE advisory situation whereby if an extension to this freeze period is required, it will be applied with no charge.
- If your membership is a 12 month contract direct debit and you choose to cancel your membership, there will be no cancellation fee applied or debt put on your account.
- If you are a customer who has paid all membership fees upfront, the period of closure will be added to your membership expiry date.
Update as of 18/03/2020
As you will be aware, the COVID-19 outbreak is causing serious disruption across every part of our lives.
Due to the evolving situation, and in order to sustain the business as a whole within the context of exceptional circumstances, we have taken the decision to close Adventure Longdendale and Active Ken Ward, from midnight on Sunday 22nd March, for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, our Active Ken Ward and Adventure Longdendale members and customers are welcome to use our other facilities, which are currently still open. Those who have a single site Active Ken Ward fitness membership will automatically be upgraded to multi-site membership until further notice.
If you have booked a party with us or booked through Groupon, we will be getting in touch with you shortly to discuss your choices. All gymnastics lessons have also been cancelled until further notice.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Update as of 17/03/2020
Following on from recent updates and advice regarding COVID-19, we have decided to take these further steps to reduce the risk to our customers, visitors and staff.
- All gymnastics lessons run by Active Tameside will cease from Wednesday 18th March until further notice.
- Gymnastics lesson customers who pay by direct debit can freeze for a maximum of three months with no freeze charge to be applied – at the end of the three months’ freeze period, you will be automatically re-instated, pending the PHE advisory situation whereby if an extension to this freeze period is required, it will be applied.
- If you are a gymnastics lesson customer who pays in 14-week blocks, you will be entitled to credits for the remaining lessons that you have already paid for.
- Please note all gymnastics members will hold their place in their current class, day and time when freezing, wherever possible.
We will be bulk freezing all direct debits for gymnastics. Anyone who pays in blocks must contact the centre at which their child does gymnastics.
Changes are being made to our group exercise classes, according to the following criteria:
- Classes that involve multi-use kit will be removed to prevent different people touching the same piece of kit, without time to clean it between changing stations.
- High movement classes will be removed due to the possibility of contact and sweat transfer.
- After pool classes, attendees will be asked to leave in waves to reduce close contact. They will be able to swim for a little longer if need be, before it is their turn to leave the pool, and will need to allow extra time for this.
- The capacity of classes will be reduced by at least 5 spaces per class, to enable a 2 metre distance gap between participants and instructors.
- Customers will be advised to attend classes early in order to clean equipment before use, and leave a little later so that they can clean it again afterwards.
Our updated class timetables can be found online here. We apologise for the inconvenience that this may cause, but it is for your protection.
Update as of 16/03/2020
The health of people in Tameside is our number one priority and, as such, we have put a number of additional precautionary measures in place to ensure your safety and reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
What we ask from you
- If you have returned from an affected area, or are suffering from any of the symptoms, no matter how mild, do not visit any of our centres. If you have any concerns, we recommend using the NHS 111 service.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds when you have been in contact with any surface and always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
- Use hand sanitiser if and when available.
- Wipe down all gym equipment after you have used it.
- Continue to exercise if you are well, but respect the personal space of others and avoid unnecessary close contact.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
What we are doing to keep customers, visitors and staff safe
- We are increasing our cleaning operations at all of our centres, with all studio spaces and equipment being cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
- We are putting up additional signage to create more awareness for our customers and staff, and remind them to follow guidelines.
- We are taking steps to reduce the size of group exercise classes and create space between stations and equipment, e.g. larger gaps between spin bikes.
Currently there are no reported cases of a member, visitor or staff member testing positive for Coronavirus. If anyone who has attended one of our centres tests positive for the virus, we will temporarily close that centre for a deep clean and then reopen it. In the meantime, all of our classes, lessons and services are running as usual and we will communicate any further updates as they arise.