Swimming pools, indoor gyms and leisure centres reopen in Wales

Indoor gyms and leisure centres can reopen from Monday 10. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Swimming pools, indoor fitness studios, gyms and leisure centres are reopening across Wales, as part of the Welsh Government's easing of lockdown.

Children’s indoor play areas will also be able to open their doors again as part of the latest changes to the coronavirus regulations in Wales. However areas that cannot be cleaned easily, like ball pits, should remain closed.

Outdoors gyms have been able to reopen since July 20.

Indoor gyms were told they may be able to reopen on Monday 10, at the end of July.

Mark Drakeford warned on Wednesday 5 that there may not be a further easing of some lockdown restrictions because the priority is for children to return to school in September. 

Mr Drakeford said there will be no change to the rules for indoor gatherings until Saturday 15 at the earliest, partly because data shows seven out of ten coronavirus cases are caught indoors.

Some leisure sector businesses will continue to remain closed. Credit: PA Images

The facilities that do reopen will still need to ensure two-metre social distancing is maintained for anyone above the age of 11.

The Welsh Government have said they are strengthening the powers local authorities have to enforce coronavirus safety measures. Enforcement officers will be able to issue a Premises Improvement Notice if a business is not complying with their legal requirements.

If there is a serious breach or a notice is not complied with, premises can be shut down.

Leisure centres will be able to reopen from Monday but social distancing measures will need to be adhered to. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The First Minister said: "The rules we have in place are not optional, they are there to protect us all. They are essential if Wales is to avoid another lockdown.

"For the small minority of individuals and businesses who are not complying with the law, I want to make it clear that we will take action and we won’t hesitate to close individual premises if that is necessary.

"As we have seen in many places around the world, this pandemic is far from over and we must remain vigilant. There is a significant risk cases in Wales could rise again and we will have to take further action if this were to happen.

"Only by us all continuing to do our part can we keep Wales safe."

Covid safety measures will need to be implemented at facilities that reopen and local authorities will have enhanced powers to enforce them. Credit: PA Images

Further changes to lockdown coming in August include a pause to shielding.

Those who have been shielding since the start of lockdown will no longer need to from August 16. Mr Drakeford has previously said that this does not mean individuals have to stop shielding, as some have expressed concerns that this is too soon.