Council-owned leisure centres are set to reopen next month.

Place Leisure, which operates Epping Forest District Council's four, leisure centres have announced the facilities will reopen on August 3.

Residents will once again be able to use Epping Sports Centre, Loughton Leisure Centre, Ongar Leisure Centre and Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre.

A spokesperson for Places Leisure said: "We are really pleased with the government’s decision to allow indoor gyms and leisure facilities to reopen – meaning it won’t be long before we welcome customers back to our gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools.

"Since we closed our facilities on government advice in March, the team has been taking advice from Public Health England, following government guidelines, consulting with our trade body ukactive and working in partnership with Epping Forest District Council to ensure that we can re-open as soon as possible.

"Now, as we prepare to do that, we are implementing lots of new measures to keep colleagues and customers safe. Changes will include lots of signage to ensure we all respect social distancing, reduced activity capacities, enhanced cleaning regimes, and hand sanitizing and cleaning stations. We’ll also ask customers to pre-book sessions on our Places Locker app or via our website; our handy new film about this will help customers prepare."

The news was welcomed by Cllr Nigel Avey, cabinet member for environmental and technical services.

He said: "It’s great to hear that from Monday, August 3 Epping Sports Centre, Loughton Leisure Centre, Ongar Leisure Centre and Waltham Abbey Leisure Centre will be re-opening.

"It’s still necessary to continue to observe sensible precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but it’s good to know that we are able to get back to our leisure and fitness activities."

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