Leisure services on hold until restrictions ease

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Leisure services in Argyll and Bute will only reopen when it is safe and viable to do so, the leisure trust in charge has confirmed.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced limited changes to Covid-19 lockdown measures until late April in a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, February 23.

No date was given for a potential return for gyms, libraries and leisure services, although more information on these could follow in mid-March.

It is aimed for Scotland to move back to a tiered system of restrictions on Monday, April 26.

Gyms in England are set for a return no earlier than Monday, April 12 under the roadmap announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the week.

Argyll and Bute’s leisure services have been closed since December, having also been shut for an extensive period earlier in 2020.

A spokesperson for Live Argyll, which operates the services in the area, said that current information would not allow doors to reopen just yet.

However, they added that they were looking forward to receiving further details from Ms Sturgeon as to when it may be possible.

The spokesperson said: ‘Like all operators we’re keen to resume service at the earliest opportunity and welcome back all of our members and customers.

‘Whilst we very much welcome today’s general announcement, at this stage there is insufficient information to allow us to effectively plan for a return to service.

‘We look forward to further updates which will hopefully provide more detail in relation to the re-opening of the leisure and library sector.

‘Our number one priority remains the safety of our users and staff and we will only re-open when it is both safe and viable to do so.’

Ms Sturgeon told Parliament on Tuesday that from the last week of April, the government would expect to see ‘phased but significant’ reopening of the economy, including gyms.

More detail will be set out in mid-March, including details of which parts of the economy will re-open earliest.