South Tyneside leisure members can now book their sessions online as Council-run centres prepare to reopen their doors following the second national lockdown.
The Council closed its leisure centres in line with the Government restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Now, under the new tiered restrictions, leisure facilities will welcome back visitors, from Thursday 3 December.
And to coincide with the reopening, the Council is introducing a new online booking system. Sessions must still be booked in advance.
Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for culture and leisure, said: "We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back to our leisure centres once again. We know that people are keen to get back into activity. It is extremely important for both physical and mental health and wellbeing, especially after prolonged periods at home.
"Our leisure and IT teams have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes planning the safe reopening of our leisure centres and we are delighted to announce that this now includes the introduction of a new online booking system for those with monthly or yearly memberships.
"This is sure to be a welcome addition for our leisure membership holders during these difficult times.
"It also helps to free up our reception staff to answer queries and give advice and guidance about the arrangements in our centres. With many visitors already familiar with the new layouts and processes, we anticipate a smooth reopening on Thursday."
Measures implemented when centres first reopened in July - after the initial national lockdown - will remain in place, with spacious workout spaces and more swim and gym sessions to help support social distancing. The exception to this is indoor group exercise sessions, such as instructor-led fitness and dance classes, which remain suspended under the Government's new Tier 3 restrictions imposed on South Tyneside.
All sessions continue to be time-limited with users once again required to book their sessions in advance.
Online bookings will be available for those with Multi, Duo, pay yearly and 30-day pass holders and can be made from Monday 30 November on the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/leisure
The new online system will give leisure members 24/7 access to a host of new features enabling them to manage their workouts effectively. This includes easy access to timetables and session availability, to make bookings, cancel sessions and the opportunity to set up alerts and notifications.
Multi and Duo membership holders can still reserve sessions over the phone from Monday 30 November, with Get Active Discount Card holders and non-members able to call up to book from Tuesday 1 December. Contactless payment is preferred at this time. Non-members can only book on the same day, subject to availability. Bookings can be made by calling any of the centres - it does not have to be the one they intend to visit:
Haven Point - 0191 424 7800;
Hebburn Central - 0191 424 7801;
Temple Park Centre - 0191 456 9119;
Jarrow Focus - 0191 489 4100;
Monkton Stadium - 0191 489 1283.
Councillor Atkinson said: "It is important to remember that despite restrictions being relaxed, the virus is still all too present in our communities and there are still limitations within our centres to support the Government's Hands, Face and Space guidance. This means that some areas, such as the fitness changing rooms, hair drying facilities, sauna and steam rooms, will remain out of bounds at this time.
"Once again, we would urge leisure users to support us by respecting the rules, be responsible and take extra care to help keep themselves, their families and others safe."
Comprehensive information about leisure centres reopening, memberships, the facilities available, booking instructions and what people should do before their visit, is available on the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/leisure
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