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Coronavirus FAQ

Re-opening FAQ's


When are Hambleton’s Leisure Centres re-opening?

Great news! Our leisure centres re-opened on 25 July 2020. We have changed the way we normally operate our services to ensure we are ready and safe to welcome you back. The gyms, group fitness classes and Toning Suite opened on Saturday 25 July 2020. The swimming pools opened for public swimming on Monday 27 July 2020.  

Our All Weather Pitches re-opened for general bookings on Monday 14 September 2020 (with the exception of Stokesley Leisure Centre).

A number of activities/sessions restarted week commencing 21 September 2020 including:

  • Squash courts are available to hire at Stokesley.
  • Badminton is available to hire at Northallerton (Sunday’s only)
  • Karate Northallerton and Stokesley
  • Aquahealth at Northallerton and Thirsk.
  • Disabled Rehab & Relax at Bedale and Stokesley

Additional information and safety guidance regarding each of these activities can be found further down.

Gymnastics sessions restart from Saturday 3 October at Northallerton Leisure Centre. Only certain classes are restarting at this stage, following British Gymnastics 'Step Forward' guidance. This has been coordinated by the gymnastics coaches  (invitation only).

There will be a phased approach regarding the re-opening of other activities, taking into account the latest government and industry guidance. 

How are we protecting our customers and teams?

The safety of our customers and teams is our number one priority. We have put a range of safety and hygiene measures in place. These include:  

  • hand sanitising stations throughout the leisure centres
  • clear social distancing signage
  • reduced activity capacity numbers
  • more frequent cleaning, more often, with greater focus on contact points
  • clearly marked directional routes, including one way entry/exit
  • closure of non-essential areas such as dry changing rooms
  • removal of equipment and furniture to reduce contact points
  • installation of hygiene screens
  • the introduction of a cashless payment option
  • the training all of our staff in COVID secure operations
  • All sessions operate to our normal adult/child ratio policy (maximum x2 children to x1 adult), children between 9 - 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • under 16’s must be supervised at all times in the gym due to limited access.

Whilst we have measures in place to maintain the highest level of hygiene across our centres, we also have an expectation from our visitors to take responsibility for their own hygiene. Please clean down equipment before and after use to support each other in maintaining a safe and clean environment. Please also follow our clear safety guidance:

  • Hands: Wash them often
  • Elbow: Cough into it
  • Space: Keep a safe distance
  • Feel Poorly: Stay home

We have created a short video that shows our safety guidance including measures we have put in place and a walk through of the new customer journey - you can view this here

How are we maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace?

Please be aware that from Thursday 24 September, our leisure centres will be operating NHS Test and Trace, as per Government regulations. NHS Test and Trace is a Government service designed to help identify and notify people who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

Following government regulations, we must request and record contact details of our customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus.

Full information on NHS Test and Trace can be found here

When visiting our centres, please ‘check in’ – the NHS COVID-19 app has a feature that allows you to quickly and easily scan the code from the NHS QR posters located at the entrance and within key areas of the building. You can download the app for free here. 

Upon scanning, you will be asked to provide your name and contact details so you can be notified if you have been exposed to the virus. This is essential to us all reducing the spread of the virus and helping to save lives

You can find further details here regarding the purpose of us maintaining records and displaying an official NHS QR poster

What do I need to bring?

Although limited lockers will be available, all dry activity changing facilities will remain temporarily closed so we ask that you arrive ready for your workout and limit the number of personal items you bring, this may include:

  • your sports bottle to stay hydrated during your workout, water fountains are available for you to re-fill.
  • a sports towel for your own personal use.
  • your Zest card/band to register your attendance

What do I need to do on arrival?

You will see we have introduced a queuing system at each leisure centre to allow us to manage quick access into your session. Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before your session and follow the signage in place. We have also staggered activity start times accordingly where possible to try and limit large numbers arriving at once. On some occasions there may be a short wait to access the centre so please come appropriately dressed for the weather.

Once in the centre you should sanitise your hands using the hand sanitiser dispenser provided and check-in using our contactless card reader and by scanning the QR code posters to check in via the NHS Covid-19 app (Test and Trace). Where possible each activity area has a specific entrance and exit route that our team will make you aware of.

There are often waiting lists for spaces, your place will be offered to someone else after 10 minutes following the start of the booked activity. After this time late arrivals will not be permitted.

What am I able to access when you reopen?

Your membership will allow you access to the facilities that have re-opened included within your current membership type. These include the gym, group fitness classes and the swimming pool plus the Toning Suite at Northallerton Leisure Centre (NLC). All sessions must be pre-booked and paid for at the time of booking as there will be reduced capacity in the gyms, fitness classes, toning suite and pool based on social distancing. Walk-in access will NOT be permitted.

More information is provided below under ‘How do I register for online booking?’ and  ‘How do I book my session/activity?’

When will my membership payments restart?

Your membership payments will restart at the current rate and will be collected on either 01 or 15 August depending on your usual payment date. If we are unable to collect a Direct Debit, future bookings cannot be made until previous payment discrepancies have been resolved. The value of any monies owed due to the closure in March will be deducted from your first Direct Debit payment.

How do I reactivate my membership?

There is no action required from you if you have an adult membership. All adult memberships that were frozen will automatically resume and payments will restart on your usual payment date on either 01 or 15 August.

Information regarding Learn2 Swim can be found below under ‘How will Learn2 Swim lessons operate?’

What is happening with Junior Memberships?

All junior memberships will remain frozen due to the limited availability of activities that make up their membership.

Junior members can access the swimming pool, new guidance requires all children under 16 to be accompanied by a responsible adult. Juniors can also access the gym (11 Years+) when we reopen, providing they are accompanied by a registered adult and have a pre-registered consent form.

Please contact [email protected] if you would like your child’s membership unfreezing in order for them to attend these activities.

There will be a phased approach regarding the re-opening of other junior activities, taking into account the latest government and industry guidance.

What if I recently cancelled my direct debit at the bank but want to come back?

If you cancelled your direct debit at the bank, we fully understand your decision to do so surrounding the uncertainty of the current situation. If you wish to reinstate your direct debit we can assist you with this. Please email [email protected] and we will be in touch with you to get things started again.

I have an annual membership or a Zest Discount Card - will this be extended to account for the closure period?

All annual memberships and Zest Discount Cards will be extended by the length of the full period that the leisure centres were closed.

I don’t feel ready to return yet, what can I do?

We want to reassure you that we have taken all the necessary steps to provide a safe environment, however we understand that not everyone will be as confident as others to return and everyone’s circumstances are different. If you are unsure about coming back, you can opt for your membership to remain frozen until 31 December 2020 and therefore will not be able to access the leisure centres using your membership.

If this is your preference, please email [email protected] as soon as possible. You can still choose to unfreeze at any time during these months.

I am not currently a member, but interested in joining. Can I do this?

After reviewing our operation and capacity you now have the following options to join us, you can you can join online at: Alternatively you can complete a membership enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss membership options or you can telephone reception for further details.

You can still choose to attend our leisure centres on a pay per visit basis, a Zest Discount Card can be purchased which will allow you to access the gym, swimming and fitness classes at a reduced rate as well as providing enhanced booking privileges. 

A welcome workout and signed health commitment statement is required to access the gym, appointments are now available online or by calling reception.

Please ensure you have read and understand what we currently have on offer in regards to timetables, capacities and booking before deciding to join.

Are there any changes to leisure centre timetables?

Amendments have been made to our Group Fitness, Gym and Pool programmes in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Please check as your usual session may have changed. You can view our adapted programmes at: ´éč

Re-opening Swim Timetables

Re-opening Group Fitness Timetables

Re-opening Gym Timetables              

Timetables are subject to change and are available at the Civic Centre and the leisure centres when we reopen. Ensure you also read the guidance relevant to each specific timetable/activity - this is included within the group fitness, gym and pool programmes, and includes important information that you will need to be aware of before you attend for the first time.

*All MAX gym sessions have been removed but under 16’s can continue to use the gyms and book a session at the same time as their parent/guardian if they have registered with the young persons consent form.

Will 24/7 gym access be available at Northallerton Leisure Centre?

Please note that 24/7 access will be unavailable at NLC when we initially reopen. 24/7 access will restart once we are confident this can be operated safely in line with Government and industry guidelines.

Why have you introduced a mandatory booking system?

The safety of our members and staff is our number one priority which is why we have introduced a new mandatory booking process. It is essential to book to attend the gym, fitness classes, Toning Suite or to swim in one of our pools. This is to help us maintain a safe environment in line with health and fitness social distancing guidelines; this helps us to control and assess the flow of visitors and will prevent unnecessary queuing.

How do I book my session/activity?

You can book online, via our Zest App or over the telephone (the hours that leisure centre telephone lines are staffed will be reduced between 17-24 July). You will need to be registered on our customer database to use our online booking facility. Currently you are unable to book for multiple people. If you wish to book for yourself and others please call the centre. Bookings can be made 8 days in advance for members and Zest Discount Card holders and 7 days in advance for non-members. The booking system will be available in readiness for re-opening.

Sessions can be cancelled online or via the Zest app up to 2 hours prior to the activity starting.  

If it is within 2 hours of the activity starting, sessions must be cancelled by contacting Reception. If our Reception staff are busy with in-centre customers, please leave a voicemail.

Please note, when booking online you will be asked to enter your customer ID number - this is not your membership card number. If you are unsure of your customer ID number, please contact reception and they will provide it. 

I want to book to swim as a family, how can I do this? 

If you wish to book a session for yourself and others please call the leisure centre. Unfortunately, you are currently unable to book for multiple people online. 

  • Bedale: (01677) 427272
  • Northallerton: (01609) 777070
  • Stokesley: (01642) 711140
  • Thirsk: (01845) 522447

How do I register for online booking?

You can register for online bookings at:

How many bookings can I make and how long are sessions?

Following re-opening we have reviewed our booking restrictions and we still want to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to access our leisure centres. You can now make 2 bookings per day per each individual activity or session e.g. you can book 2 sessions in each of the available activities per day but not 3 of the same activity in one day.  We will continue to monitor usage in our activities and we will challenge no shows and late or multiple cancellations.  Further reviews on booking restrictions and capacities will be undertaken on a weekly basis.

For the time being, gym sessions will last for 1 hour. Fitness classes and swim sessions will last a maximum of 45 minutes and toning sessions a maximum of 40 minutes

Can I book if I’m not a member?

You can book over the telephone (the hours that leisure centre telephone lines are staffed will be reduced between 17-24 July). You can also book online if you are registered on our customer database. Please see the guidance above for details: ‘How do I register for online booking’.

Will you still take cash?

We will still be taking cash although we would like to keep cash handling to a minimum and advise contactless card payments and/or online payments where possible. 

What if I am unable to book at the times I want to visit?

We have had to limit the number of people per activity to manage the flow of visitors across the centres. We will be assessing capacity levels on a regular basis in line with Government and industry guidance. We understand that demand will be high, especially at peak times but we are committed to creating a safe environment for everyone to enjoy.

Will showers, lockers, toilets and changing facilities be in use?

To maintain the highest level of hygiene across the centres, dry-side showers and changing facilities will not be in use. We ask that members arrive ready for their session. A small number of showers will be available on poolside for swim customers, but we advise you shower at home. Changing rooms and a limited number of lockers will be available and we ask that you respect other members and adhere to social distancing guidelines in these areas and therefore please bring minimal personal belongings. Toilets will be open for one member at a time and we ask that you follow the designated signage in place.

How will fitness classes operate in regards to class capacities and class duration?

Fitness classes will last for a maximum of 45 minutes. Allowing increased time in between classes for cleaning of equipment to take place before the next class starts. Class capacities have been reduced in order to operate safely in the spaces available. Where possible we have relocated some classes to larger areas around our leisure centres to try and meet demand. Expect adaptions to some classes due to equipment availability and restrictions on movement and space.

What is the capacity of people allowed within each gym?

Capacities vary across each leisure centre and will be reviewed continually to ensure maximum safety for members. Capacities and available number of spaces will be visible when booking your session online.

Will I be able to use all the equipment?

The vast majority of equipment will still be available; however we have limited access to some equipment in order to maintain social distancing guidelines. We have planned our gym layouts carefully to ensure that there is a diverse range of kit for you to perform a full body workout. A copy of our gym layouts and available equipment (subject to change) are available at:

Download our Gym Layouts 

Time on some equipment may be restricted. Please be respectful of other users. 

A Carer usually accompanies me. What do I need to know?

You can book your sessions over the telephone, via the Zest app or online.  We kindly ask you call in advance of your session to inform us that you will be visiting with a Carer and if you have any other requirements.

How will Learn2 Swim lessons operate?

Our swimming pools re-opened for public swimming on Monday 27 July 2020 and we are taking a phased approach regarding the safe re-opening of other activities, taking into account the latest government and industry guidance. 

The good news is we will be offering a temporary swimming lesson programme from 17th August 2020, however, this is limited to juniors from Stage 4 onwards, Adults and a limited number of pre-school children, as per Swim England guidance to ensure all relevant safety measures are in place. For those that are eligible, you should already have been contacted about this by the team in centres, if not please contact us.

As soon as it is possible we will restart our full Learn to Swim programme hopefully later this year. If you or your children were previously enrolled on the scheme your place will be waiting for you when you are able to return. You do not need to do anything at this stage, your memberships remain frozen.

I’m sure everyone can understand and appreciate our intentions to ensure the safety of our staff and customers, and enable us to properly manage the phased return of activities.

How will Learn2 Swim lessons work for those re-starting? 

We have adapted our swimming lessons programme following Government and Swim England guidance to ensure all safety measures are in place. We will be offering a temporary swimming lesson programme from Monday 17th August 2020 and can only offer lessons at this time to juniors from Stage 4 onwards, Adults and limited Pre-school (dependant on centres). This is in response to Swim England guidance and recommendations.

As we are operating a temporary swimming lesson programme, there may be changes to your usual swim teachers, day and/or time. We will endeavour to try to keep people at the same day/time where possible but due to new restrictions this may be difficult. You will be contacted shortly. 

When you do return to the centre the following User Guidance MUST be adhered to:-

Do not come to the facility if you are showing any of the following symptoms of Covid-19: temperature, cough, difficulty breathing, or anosmia, loss of taste or smell.

  • Swimmers should arrive with swimwear on underneath their clothing to allow for quicker preparation time prior to lessons commencing.
  • We request showering at home after lessons due to a limited time to shower and also a limited number of showers available in centre.
  • Toilets are available in the Changing Village however these are limited to one person at a time so where possible encourage a visit to the toilet before leaving home.
  •  To help keep the number of people in changing rooms to a minimum only one parent/carer per child will be allowed to supervise their child during swimming lessons.
  • Swimmers to arrive as close to their lesson start time as possible. Due to centres layouts you may be advised of a specific time to arrive to gain access to the changing village and this will be communicated with you when your lesson is confirmed. Please adhere to this information.
  • Again, depending on centre layouts a one way system may be in place in the changing village to get onto poolside and into your lesson.  You may also be directed to leave the pool via a different route. This will be communicated with you when your lesson is confirmed please follow the guidance and staff instructions.
  • Whilst in the building follow the centre guidance on social distancing, direction of travel and other risk control measures that are put in place.
  • Use the readily available hand sanitiser/wash stations.
  • No ‘waiting around/congregating’ in groups.
  • Only bring goggles and swim hats as your essential items.
  • Swimmers ability will be reassessed against relevant outcomes to establish their current level of performance
  • Spectator areas will be limited and in some cases not available at all. Centre specific layouts will determine where spectating is and you will be guided to these areas, please follow the guidance and adhere to this whilst your child is having their lesson.
  • Swim teachers will not be available for a face to face discussion, if you require to speak with the teacher please complete a ‘talk to the teacher’ card or email the Centre.
  • Teachers will teach from the poolside only there will be no ‘in water’ teaching as per Swim England guidance.
  • Do not make physical contact with other participants or staff. Always attempt to maintain appropriate social distance between yourself and another user.
  • Once the lesson has finished there will be a very limited time to get changed and leave the changing village (no longer than 10 minutes), this is to enable us to clean the cubicles in preparation for the next lesson group. Please leave the centre as soon as you are changed.
  • All junior swim lessons will be for a maximum of 30 minutes and Adults lessons 45 minutes.
  • Private lessons and stages 1-3 will be considered at a later date.

Your membership payments will restart at the current rate and will be collected on either 01 or 15 September depending on your usual payment date.

If circumstances have now changed and you DO NOT wish to restart swimming lessons please notify your centre asap to the following email address: -

How will the Toning Suite Operate?

Advance booking of a session for the Toning Suite is essential. You can book via telephone (the hours that leisure centre telephone lines are staffed will be reduced between 17-24 July), our Zest app or online. Please follow the direction of the normal circuit and clean down any equipment before and after use. Please bring your own water bottle.

How will the All Weather Pitches Operate? 

Our All Weather Pitches re-opened for general bookings from Monday 14 September.  You can book online, via our Zest app or by calling reception.

Please note that Stokesley Leisure Centre All Weather Pitch is currently closed due to maintenance issues.

When using the All Weather Pitch please follow the below guidance:

  • The person booking the pitch must keep a record of all attendees.
  • Please sanitise the ball at regular intervals.
  • Toilet facilities are located at the Leisure Centre, please use the main entrance for access.
  • Please use the correct entrance and exit to the facility as directed by the arrows and posters.
  • Please do not move equipment.
  • All First Aid incidents must be reported to Reception.

How will Squash Operate at Stokesley Leisure Centre?

Squash returns to Stokesley Leisure Centre from 21 September 2020. You can book online, via the Zest app or by contacting the leisure centre. 

  • All games must be pre booked
  • Players to arrive no more that 5 minutes prior to their booking time
  • All players must register at reception
  • Come ready dressed for your activity
  • Bring your own kit, no kit to be shared
  • Bring your own labelled water bottle

Types of play available:


Type of play

Additional information

Members from the same household or support bubble

Match play/full squash game (indoors)

Hand and touch point hygiene before and after playing.


Single player (solo) practices

Hand and touch point hygiene before and after playing.

Two members from different households (not in a support bubble)

Modified version of squash  – ‘Sides’ (see below)

Hand and touch point hygiene before and after playing.

Only one player touching the ball and court door.

Social distancing between both members.

Rules for ‘Sides’ available at Reception. We are using the UK Government definition of a ‘support bubble’

Aquahealth and Disabled & Rehab Guidance 

Aquahealth restarts at Northallerton and Thirsk, and Disabled & Rehab sessions start again at Bedale and Stokesley week commencing 21 September 2020. You can book online, via our Zest app or by contacting the leisure centre.

  • Sessions will operate with reduced numbers, based on social distancing guidance.

  • Access to the pool is via the accessible steps (and the ramp at Northallerton). The hoist is not currently available. 

  • Coaches will teach out of the water. Attendees requiring assistance in the water and out will be required to bring a carer/family member with them.

  • A pool plan with designated areas/markers will be available on poolside. Participants will remain in the same space and undertake the different exercises as identified by the coach.

  • The use of session equipment will be kept to a minimum.

General swimming guidance is also available here

Badminton Guidance 

Badminton returns to Northallerton Leisure Centre only from Sunday 27 September 2020. General booking availability is currently restricted to Sundays only. You can book online, via the Zest app or contact the leisure centre. 

  • Each player is required to check in at reception
  • Customers to adhere to 2m social distance rule whilst waiting to enter the Sports Hall
  • One customer to return to reception and report any First Aid incidents
  • Staff will set up/down the badminton net and posts
  • Equipment will not be available to hire
  • Both singles play and doubles play can now take place in groups of people from different households, as long as you remain 2 metres apart as far as possible – meaning that four people from different households can play doubles.
  • You can play singles and doubles using all areas of the court, within the respective court markings – if social distancing between adjacent courts cannot be maintained, you should only use the singles court markings. (NB: only one court will be in operation at NLC initially)
  • Other than where players are from the same household or part of a support bubble, follow Government advice on staying alert and safe
  • Stay at least two metres away from other players (including during play) as far as possible, when taking breaks and before and after play
  • Do not make physical contact with other players (such as shaking hands or high fiving)
  • Avoid chasing the shuttle down towards another court if other players are using it for doubles, consider agreeing in advance which player will take the shot if a shuttle travels to the centre of the court

Karate Guidance 

Karate is returning to Northallerton and Stokesley Leisure Centre week commencing 21 September 2020. You can book online, via the Zest app or contact the leisure centre.

  • Sessions will operate with reduced numbers based on social distancing measures
  • Only non-contact training is allowed at this time, Karate coaches will be following governing body guidance

Do I need to wear a face mask when visiting the leisure centre?

We recommend the use of face masks/coverings in circulation spaces and spectating areas.  

Leisure Centre Contact Details:

Bedale: 01677 427272

Northallerton: 01609 777070

Stokesley: 01642 711140

Thirsk: 01845 522447


We will continuously review our guidance to make any necessary changes. Information up to date at time of publishing (9/9/20).

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