Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will reopen from Saturday after the Scottish Government confirmed that the region will return to Tier 3 of Covid-19 restrictions.

Leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by the charity have been closed for the past three weeks as tighter measures were imposed throughout Greater Glasgow to reduce the rate of coronavirus in the community.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that those Tier 4 restrictions will be lifted at 6pm on Friday, as planned, with Renfrewshire rolling back to Tier 3 from 6pm on Friday.

Affected leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools and libraries will reopen – in line with all Scottish Government guidelines – from Saturday. Specific arrangements for the library at Johnstone Town Hall will be confirmed following completion of the site’s use as an assessment centre for Covid-19. Renfrewshire Heritage Centre will reopen on Monday.

Tier 3 guidelines mean that indoor fitness classes and outdoor contact sports for over-18s cannot yet resume. Activities for under-18s will take place within permitted advice. Updated guidance from sportscotland will be closely monitored for any updates to current arrangements.

Staff will, however, immediately restart the popular programme of outdoor fitnesses classes. Members and customers who normally attend indoor classes continue to be encouraged and supported to try gym or swimming sessions, as well as joining their regular routines via classes posted on the Renfrewshire Leisure website.

The click and collect service operated at all of Renfrewshire’s libraries will also recommence.

Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming our members and customers back to our venues and supporting them in any way we can. As ever, the safety of our staff and visitors is our utmost priority and we are asking everyone to follow the hygiene and social distancing measures we have in place.

“The team here has done a tremendous job over the past few weeks with a great programme of online content, but I know that people are looking forward to being able to enjoy in-person activities again, wherever we are able to offer them.

“Our outdoor and online fitness classes have proved particularly popular while we are unable to offer indoor sessions, and our gym and pool staff are on-hand to help anyone who would like to take part in activities there which they might not normally have the chance to try.”

Members’ direct debit payments for December have not been collected in light of the disruption to on-site services as a result of the Tier 4 restrictions. They will resume in January.

A revised festive opening programme for Renfrewshire Leisure’s venues will be in place from 24th December until 3rd January (inclusive). Services will operate at Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley and ON-X, Linwood, between Christmas and New Year in line with usual festive arrangements.

MAIN PHOTO: Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows