Leisure centres close under new national restrictions

Leisure centres and sports facilities in Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington have closed to the general public as the national four-week lockdown begins today, Thursday 5 November.

Published: Thursday, 5th November 2020

The overwhelming majority of Cherwell District Council’s services will still be delivered without interruption. With cleanliness still high on the agenda, Cherwell’s waste collections and street cleansing services will continue as normal.

Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “We have been watching national developments very closely and have adjusted the services we offer accordingly. It is vital that everyone observes the new lockdown rules so that we can make sure this period of restrictions is as effective as possible in bringing infections down.”

The new COVID-19 measures reflect the rapidly rising spread of the virus across the country and a significant rise in hospital admissions.

Help for vulnerable people is available on 01865 897820 or email shield@oxfordshire.gov.uk. The service is open 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am - 4pm on Fridays.

Pubs, restaurants, and non-essential shops and businesses will have to close, although hospitality venues can continue to provide takeaway and delivery services. Schools, colleges, universities and early years settings can remain open.

Outdoor markets throughout the district will continue to operate for the sale of essential produce only. Councils across the country are awaiting news from central government of fresh financial support for local businesses, and as previously, Cherwell stands ready to distribute any forthcoming grant monies. New restrictions are in effect for members of the public from 5 November. These include:

  • Staying at home unless they have a specific reason to leave, such as education, childcare, and work which cannot be done from home.
  • Not meeting socially indoors or in a private garden with family or friends who are not part of their household or support bubble.
  • Avoiding travelling in or out of their local area and to reduce the number of journeys they make.

People are allowed to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place with members of their household or support bubble. A maximum of two people from different households – excluding children under school age – are allowed to meet outdoors for the purpose of exercise or to visit an outdoor public place.

Detailed information about the new restrictions is available on the www.gov.uk website.

The over 60s and the clinically vulnerable are also being asked to minimise their contacts with others and be especially careful to follow the rules. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, including working from home.

Cllr Wood continued: “The necessary closure of leisure centres will cause disruption to the exercise that people need to maintain their physical and mental health through this difficult period. I would ask anyone exercising outdoors to do so with a maximum of only one other person from outside their household or bubble. People who prefer to exercise indoors are invited to visit Cherwell’s online activity and wellbeing hub. It is full of good ideas for anyone looking for new ways to keep fit.”

Those who are forced to adapt their usual exercise routine because of the leisure centre closure are invited to visit the council’s the activity and wellbeing hub, which offers inspiring ideas for ways to boost mental and physical wellbeing for families, couples and individuals. Visit this link.

Information about the support available for residents during the pandemic is available at this address.