As the government eased restrictions and life is returning to nearer what it was like in pre-Covid times, we are aware that one of the changes announced is that in England face coverings are no longer required by law. Instead the government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet. Although the Sports Village is not normally crowded, customers and staff mix with a wide range of people and we therefore encourage all users to continue using face coverings to help keep our community and staff safe. You will notice that our staff continue to wear face coverings as part of our commitment to keeping you and one another safe, so if you are able to join us and continue to do so we would be really grateful. We will continue to review our policy on this and notify you of any changes.
CO2 monitoring and ventilation
As many of you will be aware the primary means of Covid-19 spreading is through aerosol transmission and all the research around this shows that there is an increased risk of transmission in poorly ventilated spaces. CO2 builds up in poorly ventilated spaces and therefore CO2 monitors provide a great way of measuring how well ventilated a space is. We always knew that the ventilation levels in the Sports Village were good but we took the decision to purchase and install CO2 monitors in main facility spaces to measure CO2 levels during our operational hours and reassure us (and in-turn you) that we were operating all areas within best practise levels of ventilation.
I am pleased to say that the CO2 monitors we have installed and have been successfully taking readings from for several weeks, at one of our busiest times of the year, confirm that all areas of the Sports Village are well ventilated. We are operating well within the recommended maximum CO2 levels for a well ventilated space of 1500 parts per million with the vast majority of activity areas being below 800 parts per million. This is made possible as in most facility areas we have 100% fresh air being drawn in and stale air expelled 4-5 times an hour.
Changes to Covid-19 control measures for the gym and group exercise classes
Since aerosol transmission of Covid-19 in unventilated spaces is the primary cause of transmission and we are very confident that we have well ventilated spaces we have been able to review all our control measures in relation to Covid-19 and have decided to make some small changes, as outlined below.
Cloth and disinfectant spray control measures
In the early days of Covid-19 it was assumed a primary means of virus transmission was through surface transmission and as a result we made the use of disinfectant spray and cloths compulsory across our gym users to minimise this risk. As more has been understood about the way the virus transmits, we have reviewed our Covid-19 control measures and taken advice from our industry-specialist health and safety consultants. We have made a decision to no longer make the use of disinfectant spray and cloths compulsory. These changes will come into place from Monday 14 February.
Spray and cloths will still be available for users to collect as they enter the gym for those members who wish to continue to do so as an added personal control measure. Plus, we will also have some available for communal use in key spaces around the gym and as a general hygiene measure we encourage members to use these communal sprays and wipes to continue to disinfect equipment, especially after use. In addition our staff will continue their increased frequency of cleaning, paying particular attention to high touch points including machine adjustments and handles.
Group exercise capacity
After installing CO2 monitors into our studio spaces and reviewing the data these generate at current capacity levels and after reviewing our risk assessments, we are happy to say that we will be increasing the capacity for some of our Studio 1 classes from Monday 14 February. Capacity for Pilates and Yoga sessions has already been increased and we will look to expand this into our other classes in the coming weeks if the CO2 readings continue to allow us to do so safely
Update your fob/cards
As we updated our booking system last year, we have now updated our access control system too. On your next visit, access the centre as you would normally by placing your fob/card on the white reader on the turnstile. The light will flash blue while it updates your fob/card until it eventually turns green or red. Please keep your fob/card on the white reader until the light turns green where you can go through the turnstile. If the light does turn red then please visit one of our reception team who will be able to assist you further. Please be aware that it can take up to 30 seconds on your first visit for the blue light to stop flashing and turn green or red. On every visit the reader will flash blue until it turns green, however this process will take less time.