The news everyone has been awaiting…swimming pools and gyms can re-open from 31st August (so long as there are no flare ups). High Life Highland are delighted to now be in a position to welcome back customers to our facilities. A huge amount of work has gone into preparing our facilities for a safe return. Each centre has its own centre specific measures in place, however we’ve incuded some ‘heads up’ info below for you so you have an idea of what things to expect. Remember this all designed to re-open the centres in a safe and sustainable way.
Keeping everyone safe is our top priority…we can’t wait to welcome you back!
The New Normal
Customer and HLH team safety is our top priority and our Leisure Centre teams have undergone extensive training on our new way of operating. Firstly, you must book your activity in advance via our online booking or by phoning reception prior to attending your facility (but please don’t’ turn up without booking in advance). In order to enhance the experience for everyone we have set new maximum numbers for all activities, devised new routes into the building with one-way systems, set out floor markers for classes (stay in your own bubble!) and significantly upped our already extensive cleaning regimes. We really want to keep everyone as safe as possible, so we will also be having close-down periods though the day for extra cleaning and have installed sanitisation stations throughout our buildings. Also, different activities will have different social distancing rules-our team will keep you right on that. It’ll all feel a little different to begin with and you’ll have to be patient with us when you arrive as we may have to ask you to wait outside for a little while, but a member of our team will let you know when to come in. Normally we love to have our customers leave the centres at a leisurely pace, we know that the social side of things is a big factor in what makes coming to leisure centres so enjoyable. However we’re sure you’ll understand that we’re not just being rude, you’ll need to leave the premises swiftly once you have finished your session to minimize numbers of people milling about. I’m afraid we’ll just have to live with this one for now!
We know how keen everyone is to get back the gym-it’s often the top thing that folk have missed in national polls! We’ll obviously be delighted to welcome you back to our gyms, please arrive ‘gym-ready’ because, in the interest of safety, our changing rooms will not be available just yet. Everyone will be able to pre-book for a session via our online booking system (or phone in advance) …and so that we can make room for everyone, each session will have limited numbers and a limit of 60 minutes (plenty to begin with I’m sure you’ll agree!). If you’re an ‘All-Inclusive or ‘Budget’ member …you are in luck, you get to book 7 days in advance-everyone else it’s 3 days.
We’re sure you’ll be expecting this from watching the news etc, some equipment may be out of use (or moved elsewhere within the facility) so that social distancing can be maintained. We’ve done what we can to make as much available as possible, but safety comes first. Also, remember to bring in your own towels and water bottles (water cooler/fountains are no allowed under the new normal). Everyone needs to do their bit, so we request that all customers clean equipment before and after each use. Rest assured though, that members of the High Life team will be thoroughly cleaning everything between sessions. One last thing, so everyone gets a shotty, we’re setting a limit of 20 minutes on cardio equipment (if it’s not busy, it can be extended at the discretion of the HLH team on site).
For many of us, this will be longest time spent out of the water and we know how much our swimmers have missed their daily dip. It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the pool is a very safe place to exercise due to the disinfection systems always in place at our pools (yes, that means the chlorine). However we’ve enhanced this even further with a few measures that will help everyone enjoy the water again. You’ll actually have to pre-book a lane prior to attending (please don’t turn up without booking-we won’t be able to squeeze you in!). So that we can make room for everyone, each session will have limited numbers and a limit of 45 minutes. Designated fast and slow lanes will be in operation. If you’re an ‘All-Inclusive or ‘Budget’ member …you are in luck, you get to book 7 days in advance-everyone else it’s 4 days. To start with pools will be mostly lane swimming (double lanes and direction signs). Aquacise is also on the menu again you’ll be glad to know! Most other pool activities will come back later… gradually.
You must arrive on time and in your swimming costume ready for your swim (towel tucked under your arm is optional). If you’re a sleepy head and arrive late for the pool-you will not get your morning dip. Be on time…at all times of the day! The good news is that the changing rooms and showers/toilets are available at the pool. Nowhere else though. Only if you’re swimming. If you are using the shower following your swim please do this as quickly as possible.
It probably goes without saying but…people of different standards and abilities will use the pool. Please be kind and let everyone enjoy their swim. If you get stuck behind someone swimming at a more leisurely pace than you’d like-please don’t try and overtake a moving swimmer. Instead, pass them at the end of the pool when they stop. If you’re a ‘leisurely paced swimmer’, keep an eye for budding Michael Phelps types that might need past. Butterfly (splashy) and backstroke (you can’t see where you’re going) aren’t recommended in pools for now-so please stick to front crawl or breaststroke. We have also changed the normal swimming directions for lanes…this is to limit how close you get to a fellow swimmer and where they breathe. Diving into pools isn’t recommended at the moment either-please try and slip into the pool smoothly without splashing.
We’re delighted to welcome you back to the multitude of classes on offer at High Life Highland. We’ve been busy figuring out the safest way to run these classes-we’ve brought in a string of measures to do this. As you’d expect, booking in advance for classes is essential…again, if you don’t book, we’ll have to turn you away (the last thing anyone wants). Please book! All-Inclusive Members can book a class up to seven days in advance. ‘Pay as you’ go customers will be able to book a class up to three days in advance. Classes will have 15 minutes between classes to allow time for cleaning and changeover of participants. Depending on which centre you go to-there may be new ways to enter the facility.You may also have to wait outside for a little while…a member of our team will let you know when to come in.
The class sizes will be reduced dependent on class intensity and each person will have their own exercise bubble to stick to. We’ll have floor markers to identify you’re spot
- High=red dots
- Medium=yellow dots
- Low=green dots
Equipment sharing is not allowed at the moment, so the classes will be a little different to you’ve been accustomed to. You’ll also need to bring your own mat to pilates/yoga. Remember that all our water coolers/fountains have been taken out of use, so you’ll need to bring your own water to classes. At the end of the class, you may be asked to do your bit and clean any pieces of equipment that has been used.
We really hope that none of this sounds too scary and that everyone will join us in bouncing back to full fitness. Rest assured that we have taken extensive expert advice preparing the centres for a safe return. We’ve included a list of general hygiene standards below for further information. Please feel free to contact your local leisure centre or pool if you have any queries or concerns before booking your place-we’re there to make your customer journey as safe and enjoyable as possible. Can’t wait to see you!
General COVID-19 hygiene standards:
- Only attend the facility if you feel well. Do not enter the facility if you feel unwell or if you are vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Follow NHS guidance if you have symptoms of Covid-19.
- Adhere to physical distancing signage on display and directional foot traffic floor markers
- Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer on arrival.
- Using supplied disinfectant to wipe down any exercise equipment prior to and post use, which will be readily available
- Covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or a tissue and dispose of tissues hygienically.
- Place disposable tissues/towels and cleaning materials in a bin immediately after use.
- Avoid touching face, eyes, nose and mouth. Wash hands regularly for at least 20 secs.
- Limiting contact with others and avoiding other close physical contact; no hand shaking/hugging etc
- Use your own water bottle and do not share items such as towels, water bottles, headphones.
- Bringing your own full water bottle as water fountains will not be in use; do not refill your bottle from other sources such as taps in changing areas
Avoiding putting items such as phones on common surfaces.