Reopening of Swimming Pools

As of Thursday 7th August 2020, a number of swimming pools in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Area will begin to reopen in a phased manner and restricted times for public swimming.

During the initial opening phase members so the public over the age of 16 were allowed to swim on an individual basis (lane swimming only), Council is now expanding the swimming programme on offer to the public from the 24th August 2020 to include a number of other groups and activities; this will include:

The facilities that are initially reopening will be at the following locations:

  • Banbridge Leisure Centre
  • Cascades Leisure Complex
  • Orchard Leisure Centre

Phased reopening of Swimming Pools

Family groups;

Family/Household  groups will be able to hire a lane or a section of a small pool as they belong to a “social bubble”..

There will be:

  • Family Swim Sections available in each facility.
  • Max 6 people per section.
  • Our Normal Child to Adult Ratio Policy Applies:

1 Adult to 2 Children under 4yrs

1 Adult to 3 Children between 4-7yrs

Effectively 3 adults could come with 3 children or 4 with two children but not our concern if they are in a family bubble.

Staff on poolside will ensure that the child adult ratio is being adhered to.

  • Families do not have to social distance in the water, but must stay in their allocated area
  • The charge for the family swim will be £8.70 regardless of 2 or 6 people; if you have a family membership there will be no charge.

Lane swimming for under 16

Lane swimmers from 8 years of age to 15 years of age.

  1. There will be “under 16” sessions in each centre’s programme.
  2. The 8-15 year old can be accompanied (in the lane swimming) by one responsible adult only, also lane swimming and social distancing.
  • Parents or adults who bring 8-15 year old to centre, and who are not the one accompanying adult in the water, cannot wait in the centre.
  • The charge for lane swimming for under 16’s is £2.35.

Due to Covid-19, the user experience will be slightly different, incorporating new safety measures to provide safe, but friendly, leisure environments for everyone to enjoy.

In advance of your swimming session

We recognise the importance of physical activity for your health and well-being.

We want to be able to offer you the opportunity to get moving, whilst ensuring that you are safe when using our buildings.

For that reason we have put the following steps in place:

  • All visits must be booked online in advance
  • You will receive a confirmation email which will include pre-participation instructions (e.g. site specific details, what to bring and don’t come if you aren’t well etc.) and what you can expect when you arrive at your session and what you will be required to do.
  • We will be limiting the numbers of participants to ensure that social distancing guidelines are adhered to.
  • Before you arrive the facility and any equipment will be cleaned.

Arriving at the facility for your session

  • You’ll have a specific time on your confirmation email but please leave at least 15 minutes before your session is due to start.
  • There may be a queue and we would ask you abide to the social distancing; this will be marked for you convenience.
  • There will be one way in to the building and we ask that you use this entrance.
  • Please use the hand sanitiser when you enter the building.
  • You’ll check in, if this is at a reception desk it will be screened, we would ask you to maintain social distancing; this will be marked for you convenience.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available and we would ask you to use this before your session.

Public Swimming – Rules and Guidelines

  • All swimmers must be 16 years of age or older to swim until further notice.
  • Each session “in the water time” is 60 mins max – 60 mins cannot be guaranteed at all times.
  • Butterfly stroke and Backstroke are not permitted in the lane.
  • Swim aids: arm bands are allowed during family swim sessions; You must bring your own equipment.
  • For public lane sessions there will be three double-width lanes only available in each pool. These will be limited to a maximum of eight swimmers per lane in our three pools. There will normally be one slow speed lane, one medium speed lane and one fast speed lane.
  • Slow speed, medium speed and fast speed lanes must be booked in advance and adhered to:
    • Slow speed – swimmers must be able to swim 25m without stopping in 60-70 seconds (maximum)
    • Medium speed – swimmers must be able to swim 25m without stopping in 30-60 seconds (maximum)
    • Fast speed – swimmers must be able to swim 25m without stopping in 30 seconds (or less)
  • All swimmers are asked to shower at home immediately before making journey to the centre – the normal pre-cleanse shower area will not be available.
  • All swimmers must come to the centre “beach ready” i.e. swimwear underneath clothes.
  • Customers are permitted to use lockers as directed by local signage – valuables are not advised and if valuables are necessary (e.g. car keys) the high security lockers at reception must be used before and after your swim.
  • From 7th August, until further notice public swimmers cannot use showers after their swim – you are advised to shower at home.
  • Use of centre toilets (and in the wet changing areas) is permitted.

After your swimming session

  • Hand sanitiser will be available and we would ask you to use this after your session.
  • There will be a one way system to exit the building please only use this exit.
  • Please maintain social distancing when exiting.

FAQ on reopening

When and where can I swim?

As of Thursday 7th August 2020, a number of swimming pools in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Area will begin to reopen in a phased manner and restricted times for public swimming;

The facilities that are initially reopening will be at the following locations:

  • Banbridge Leisure Centre
  • Cascades Leisure Complex
  • Orchard Leisure Centre

Timetable of when public swimming is available in each facility?

Timetables will vary across each location and users are advised to visit the booking system (link below) for up to date information and for details on how to book sessions.

Is there a restriction on how I can swim?

Lane swimming and family swimming are permitted; Social distancing will be adhered to at all times.

I am an existing member how do I find my membership number?

Will there be changing rooms available?

  • All swimmers are asked to be swim ready when then attend the facility.
  • Swimmers will then be allowed 15 mins to change (no showering before or after swim).
  • Then the pool and changing areas will be free of customers for 30 mins for staff cleaning before swimmers can be introduced to the changing.

How can I pay for a swim session?

Individuals to book and pay in advance by internet or by phone.

Registration is required for all prior to first booking.

Can I pay for a swim session using cash?

Cash will not be accepted at any reception until further notice

Can I drop in and pay for a swim session?

All sessions must be booked and paid for in advance of arrival.

How do I book a lane swim session for 8-15 year olds?

When booking a lane swim session for 8-15 year olds this must be booked under their own name and associated email address as everyone needs their own account.

I am a pay as you go swimmer what will I be charged?

During August Pay as you go swimmers can swim for £2.35

I am over 60 do I have to pay for a swim session?

60 years of age and over may swim free of charge; however, proof must be shown to the receptionist in the facility.

I have a disability do I have to pay for a swim session?

People in receipt of DLA, PIPs or have a blue badge may swim free of charge; however, proof must be shown to the receptionist in the facility.

I have an existing DD membership that includes swimming do I have to pay?

All activities gym, swim will be free of charge during the month of August to existing members to compensate for membership time lost due to the Covid 19 situation.

When will swimming lessons resume?

At the moment we are working through when swimming lessons can resume in the Borough; this information will be released as soon as possible.

Can my family go for a swim?

Family swim sessions will be available from 24th August and must be booked in advanced.

Please see information below for booking.

My existing DD membership is not in any of the facilities open can I use these facilities?

All existing members from facilities that remain closed can use the other facilities that are open during this time frame.

When will the other facilities re-open?

Details will be released in the next few weeks regarding this issue.

How to Book

We have a new online booking system in place. Please read below how to access the system

Current Members

If you are an existing Direct Debit or Pay Yearly member you will have to register online and link your membership.

To link your membership you will need the barcode number from your membership card. If you do not have this please use the form here for help with linking your current membership.

Once this is done. Use the Book Now link

Casual Members

If you are a casual member you need to register onto our new system. Please follow to link below to sign up.

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