We hope our members are staying safe and well in these challenging times. While our doors have been closed over the past three months, our teams have been hard at work planning for the time when we are able to reopen, and we wanted to start sharing our plans with you, for when the time comes.
We consider ourselves and our customers a community, united in improving the physical and mental wellbeing of our town, something which is even more important than ever now. We appreciate your loyalty and eagerly await being able to continue this journey with you, even if things are different than we are all used to.
In line with the Government’s plan for indoor leisure providers to begin to restart services next month, we have been making changes at our venues to allow us to help people get back to the gym and our libraries.
We understand completely that some people will not feel ready to come back to our centres yet, or may be nervous about it. As such, we would like to reassure our members that membership fees will continue to be suspended during the initial opening period, and we will not automatically restart any payments without giving prior notice to you. Annual memberships remain suspended by default and the equivalent period will be added to their memberships.
You may know we have already reopened our outdoor tennis courts at Birchwood and Great Sankey (we await industry guidance regarding the reopening of indoor racquet sports like badminton and squash) and have already launched outdoor personal training and bootcamp sessions at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub in order to maximise opportunities for people to participate in a range of outdoor physical activities.
Beyond this we are hopeful some of our centres will be open in early July for gym and group exercise classes – this will include making full use of our extensive outside areas and repurposing some of our large indoor spaces into new gym areas – however this will be dependant on Government advice.
Our reopening plans have centred around the safety of our customers and staff, and are aimed at giving you plenty of space to enjoy your chosen exercise in a friendly, safe and hygienic manner.
We will be offering both all-inclusive monthly membership options for those who want to reactivate their memberships, plus ‘pay as you go’ options for those who prefer that approach – as well as a new ‘LiveWire at Home’ virtual membership that will include a comprehensive weekly timetable of live streamed and on-demand virtual classes by your very own instructor team (live Select Members will have automatic free access to LiveWire at Home).
What will be different when we re-open some of our leisure sites?
- Due to social distancing we will have to limit the number of people on site. In order to do this, we will be asking you to pre-book your visit in advance. We regret it will not be possible during the first phase of re-opening to attend without pre-booking and we thank you in advance for your co-operation with this. Full details on how to book your slots will be given prior to us reopening. Pre-booking will apply to both the gym, and group exercise classes – members will have priority booking.
- A contactless check-in process on arrival and new one-way systems around parts of our buildings will be in operation, with floor markings and directional signs allowing you to safely make your way around.
- Social distancing will be crucial in allowing us to reopen – and this applies to reception areas and both the gym and group exercise classes. We are fortunate to have many outdoor spaces and sports pitches at our Hub sites, and these will be utilised for personal training and group exercise classes alongside some of our block bookers. Indoors, we will be relocating classes to our larger spaces for selected sites, to allow social distancing and larger number of participants. Our gyms will be reorganised to ensure social distancing, and we will be utilising our available indoor spaces and studios to create additional gym spaces to again maximise the number of people who can safely train at any one time. Our gym equipment is currently being relocated and rearranged in our Hubs with this in mind.
Please note, there will be no changing facilities or showers available initially. Toilets however will be available.
The cleanliness of our sites has always been a priority, and we know it is crucial in helping you have the confidence to return to indoor exercising. We will have in place enhanced scheduled deep cleaning regimes by staff including cleaning stations for member use and hand sanitiser available for customers and staff.
We know that many of our members are keen swimmers, and will want to get back into the pool. We are reviewing the Swim England guidance, released today, to assist us in our planning for re-opening pools but we are not yet at a stage when we can confirm when pools may be open.
In line with the Government’s plan for libraries to open next month, we have been making changes to allow us to help people to access our libraries safely.
We are hopeful some of our libraries will be open in early July – however this will be dependent on Government advice.
In the meantime, we have taken the following steps to mitigate the impact the current situation may have on any items you have currently on loan:
- No charges for overdue materials issued from 1st March.
- Items on loan have had their loan period extended until 30th September.
Our reopening plans have centred on the safety of our customers and staff, and are aimed at giving you plenty of space to access the library in a safe and hygienic manner.
As we further develop our online resources, the opening of select libraries will allow us to deliver a limited book browsing offer alongside the introduction of an order and collect service for customers who may not want to visit a library. Our home library service will be available for those residents who are vulnerable or shielding and will be operated in line with government guidance to keep both customers and volunteers safe.
What will be different about our libraries when we re-open?
- Social distancing will be crucial in allowing us to reopen – and this applies to all areas of the library to keep both customer and staff safe. To achieve safe social distancing we have removed all furniture from our libraries to support one way traffic flow through the library.
- Due to social distancing we will have to limit the number of people on site. In order to do this, we will be restricting the number of people accessing the library at any one time and limits being placed on visit durations.
- A contactless returns and issue process will be in place and new one-way systems around parts of our buildings will be in operation, with floor markings and directional signs allowing you to safely make your way around.
- All returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves for people to loan.
- Customers will be discouraged from handling books during their time in the library however wipes will be provided to ensure books can be wiped down if handled.
- Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed.
- The cleanliness of our sites has always been a priority, and we know it is crucial in helping you have the confidence to return to the library. We will have in place enhanced scheduled deep cleaning regimes by staff including hand sanitiser available for customers and staff.
We hope this information is useful and reassuring, and we will be in touch with further information as soon as we are able to share more. In the meantime, please stay safe and we can’t wait to welcome you back.
All the team at LiveWire