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After a long and difficult winter in lockdown restrictions, we’re absolutely delighted that Manchester can once again open its doors to our much-loved community. From Monday 12 April, leisure centres, gyms, and swimming pools across the city, have reopened. Since the government’s announcement in February, detailing England’s roadmap out of lockdown, we in Manchester along with millions across the country have been waiting patiently for the return to indoor sports activity and we’re so excited that day has come! 

The role our leisure centres play to support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of residents as well as filling the local void for social and community interaction cannot be underestimated. So, the reopening for people to meet up at a safe distance and exercise in their local centre will go a long way to lifting moods, maintaining good health and reconnecting our local communities once again.  

From Monday 12 April pools, gyms and activity spaces have reopened their doors in Manchester, a decision, given the comprehensive Government guidance, we have carefully considered. We have ensured that our centre’s reopened safely, prioritising all our customers and staff, in the knowledge that our gyms and pools can carefully help the city get active again and match-fit to defeat this virus.  

As part of the second phase of the roadmap, the Government provided confirmation  that leisure centres were safe to reopen, with strict operational measures in place. Anyone wishing to use facilities in Manchester will need to pre-book a time slot to ensure smaller capacities within the centres, this includes pool lane swimming bookings. 

Equipment within gym areas has been reduced and spaced out to enable social distancing, while fitness classes that are available will be relocated, weather permitting, outside. Staff will be adopting enhanced cleaning regimes, while all users will be asked to wipe down equipment they use. Hand sanitiser stations will also be available throughout. We would ask that everyone familiarises themselves with these details prior to attending any session at any centre. 

Whilst we welcome this news and as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, we recognise that some people may be worried about returning to their local facilities. We've created a one-stop COVID-19 page on, to keep Manchester abreast of the latest Government guidance, and more importantly, what this means to the city as together we take those small steps back to being physically active. The website contains information, ideas and advice for all ages and abilities whether you’re looking to join a sports club, take out a gym membership or simply move more such as exploring walks in your local area. 

Chief Operating Officer for MCRactive Rebecca Livesey, said:

“Manchester is a city synonymous with sport. With restrictions imposed on accessing local leisure centres, attending your local club, or playing sports with friends and colleagues over the past four months, we’re deeply aware of the impact this has had on the lives of Manchester residents. So, following the government’s roadmap out of lockdown and the overwhelmingly positive response we have received to the opening of our outdoor leisure facilities on 29 March, MCRactive couldn't wait to welcome Mancunians back to our gyms, indoor courts, studio spaces and swimming pools from Monday 12 April. I'd like to thank the people of our great city, and particularly our centre members and users, whether existing or if you’re looking to join, for your continued patience, understanding and support during these unprecedented and challenging times - we can’t wait to have you back. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the staff, partners, clubs, coaches and colleagues for their tireless work during this period, proving once again to be a profound force in our vast and diverse communities”.

Follow @MCRactive across Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to receive real-time updates on places & facilities as they open across the city and support as you begin to squeeze back into your running shoes, dust down your gym kit and seek reassurance with the many questions that naturally come on your journey back to being active.
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