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Council outlines the impact on leisure centres, libraries and history centre as step 4 commences

With step 4 getting underway, council services will have measures in place to keep people safe

Published 16 July 2021
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Wiltshire Council's libraries, leisure centres and history centre will continue to take a very cautious approach to help keep staff and visitors safe with step 4 of the Government's roadmap commencing from today (19 July).

National restrictions and most COVID-19 legal limitations have now eased, but the Government is calling for gradual and cautious changes, rather than everything returning to normal.

Most of the council's libraries recently reopened for browsing and computer use (computers don't need to be booked, but is recommended to guarantee access), and as there is no longer a requirement to quarantine books and there has been a change to the way the libraries are managing Test and Trace, many libraries across the county have extended their hours.

Visitors to the council's libraries are being asked to continue to socially distance while inside, and people are encouraged to wear face coverings. This will ensure that those who haven't had the chance to be vaccinated yet, or are particularly vulnerable, can be protected as much as possible. For more information, people should visit libraries home page.

Social distancing, respecting other people's space and the wearing of face coverings are encouraged in the council's leisure centres. Screens will also remain on reception desks.

The capacity of particular sessions, notably group exercise classes, have been increased, but not to maximum, so there will still be more space than normal.

More gym equipment has been brought back into use and any zoning has been removed. Cardio equipment, where possible, will be adjusted to encourage 1m social distancing.

Health suites and saunas have been made available for use again, where feasible, as have changing rooms and showers. Some facilities may have maximum advised capacities in place, which people are encouraged to respect.

Children should continue to arrive for their Swim School lesson dressed ready to swim until further notice; changing facilities will be available but arriving beach ready will encourage social distancing.

Swimming lane and session capacities have also increased slightly but still not to the maximum level. For full details of any other changes people are recommended to visit the leisure pages on the Wiltshire Council website COVID-19 leisure page 

For specific details regarding the 10 leisure centres that are managed on behalf of Wiltshire Council by Places Leisure, please visit their website Places Leisure: Wiltshire leisure centres or via Wiltshire Council leisure page

The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre remains open from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30am until 5pm. Customers are still required to book in advance, and they are being encouraged to continue to wear face coverings and socially distance while inside the building. For further details, people should visit History Centre website

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Libraries, said:

It's important to remember that the pandemic isn't over, and we all still have a responsibility to look out for one another and keep each other safe.

So while we're pleased to ease on some measures in our leisure, library and history centre buildings, the safety of our staff and residents is still of the utmost importance and we ask that everyone respects the measures we have in place.

COVID-19 case rates continue to rise in the county and people are encouraged to continue to wear face coverings in enclosed and crowded spaces, as that helps keep people safe, particularly those who are not double vaccinated. People should also continue to wash or sanitise their hands regularly and self-isolate and get tested if they display any of the COVID-19 symptoms.

More information about the Government's guidance to how to stay safe and help prevent the spread from 19 July can be found at guidance from 19 July.

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Published 16 July 2021