Return of the gym! Guernsey Leisure Centre becomes first in British Isles to reopen its doors
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Return of the gym! Guernsey Leisure Centre becomes first in British Isles to reopen its doors

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The Beau Sejour leisure centre on the island of Guernsey has become the first public leisure facility on the British Isles to reopen its doors as lockdown measures are eased.

The centre reopened on 4 June and will now operate on reduced opening hours (from 7am until 7pm) seven days a week.

There will be a number of restrictions on operations, in line with Guernsey moving to "Phase Four" of lockdown. Guernsey was able to enter Phase Four – which has seen shops, gyms and hotels opening their doors – as the island hasn't reported any new, active cases of coronavirus infections.

At Beau Sejour, all facilities and activities have to be pre-booked – and each user arriving at the centre will be met by a member of staff, outlining the procedures in place across the facility. Children under the age of 16 will only be allowed if attending with an adult.

The centre's gym will be bookable for hourly slots, with a maximum of 10 users at any time.

Gym users are asked to arrive "training ready", as all changing rooms and showers will be out of use.

Personal towels are also banned – instead, blue paper towels are placed around the gym area.

All the equipment in the gym has been re-arranged to allow social distancing of 2m between users.

In the gym's free-weights area, only two people are allowed to train at any one time – and some equipment has been removed entirely.

All water fountains have also been shut, so users will have to bring their own water bottles.

After every one-hour slot, the gym will be vacated and then cleaned and sanitised by staff.

Group exercise classes will resume on 6 June and will take place in the David Ferguson Hall – a large, multi-purpose space which is normally used for functions. There will be a limit to the number of exercises for each class, depending on the type of class.

Lane swimming will also be allowed in the centre's pool, although with limited numbers.

The only changing rooms available to users – including those visiting the gym – will be those in the swimming pool's changing village. Users are, however, encouraged to shower at home.

In total, there will be a maximum of 30 users allowed inside the leisure centre at any given time.

"A lot of hard work went into ensuring our centre could re-open its doors to our local community yesterday," a spokesperson for the centre said.

"It was great to see so many customers back in the gym again and making use of our pool, social distancing of course.

"BodyZone Gym Fitness classes resume on Saturday and we look forward to slowly getting back and up running, however things are going to look and feel very different from what members are used to.

"Hopefully we can slowly re-introduce activities and facilities that were part of our members' everyday life prior to lockdown."

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The Beau Sejour leisure centre on the island of Guernsey has become the first public leisure facility on the British Isles to reopen its doors as lockdown measures are eased.
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