1Life reopen Uttlesford leisure centres

1Life is pleased to announce it has successfully re-opened both Lord Butler and Great Dunmow leisure centres on Monday 27 July, followed by an anticipated opening of the Mountfitchet Romeera on Monday 10 August.

Following advice and guidance from the government, as well as the fitness trade body UKActive and its independent scientific advisors, not to mention 1Life's own vigorous health and safety procedures, the final touches were made to safely re-open for members, the community and staff.

1Life has taken this time to upskill, upgrade and redefine its health and safety procedures as well as its operating standards to ensure social distancing and hygiene is at the highest levels to comply with the government guidelines. 

Positive and proactive changes within the facilities mean it is safe for people to exercise at a suitable distance from others. Cleaning schedules have been increased and staff are carrying out cleaning routines each hour with an anti-virus agent. Sanitisation stations have been installed to ensure the highest possible standards of hygiene and cleanliness.  

There are clear signs guiding members around the facility and informing them on how to act safely and responsibly, similar to those used in supermarkets, and equipment may be marked as 'out of use' or spaced further apart to comply with social distancing rules.  

The swimming pool, changing rooms and showers will be temporarily unavailable (meaning members are asked to arrive on site wearing the appropriate gym clothing to be active) but will re-open at a later point in a phased approach to ensure customer and staff safety. Revised opening hours are also in place for the immediate future and will be reviewed as appropriate. 

Members and customers are being asked to book onto specific exercise slots and sessions via the 1Life app, website or by calling the centre direct. This ensures capacity is at appropriate levels and there is adequate time to clean and sanitise the facilities between exercise sessions.   

1Life is hosting an increased group exercise timetable, offering more people more opportunities to exercise throughout the day with both on-site virtual (newly-installed during lockdown) and instructor-led classes available. 

Staff have access to a range of PPE equipment including gloves, face masks and visors. The temporary measures will be adapted as and when government advice changes throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

Cllr Alex Armstrong, Uttlesford District Council's Portfolio Holder for Sports and Leisure, said: "Keeping fit and healthy has never been more important and so it is great to see the leisure centres open again - we know our residents have missed using the facilities during lockdown. I'd like to thank 1Life and their staff for getting everything ready in such a short space of time. The careful, phased reopening plan is the right thing to do and the measures that are in place will help to make people feel safe in coming back to the centre." 

Mark Braithwaite, CEO of 1Life, reassured members and users of the facility that they will be safe. He said: "We are naturally very excited to re-open but this is not done lightly. We have used the last 17-plus weeks to upskill, re-educate and re-train our teams on the very latest advice and procedures to ensure a safe service and operation.  

"As the government and public health experts ease the current restrictions, we want to ensure that members and users feel comfortable and safe using our facilities."

28 July 2020