The pressure is on for leisure and fitness centre managers as they plan for re-opening following weeks of enforced closures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

While no definitive date for that re-opening has been provided by Governments on either side of the Tasman, many managers are doing what they can to prepare right now.

To make things easier, we’ve put together a quick list of some of the key things to consider before welcoming staff, members and visitors back to your sites.

Clean your facilities

In the weeks before re-opening day, it will be time to get your clean on. Make sure surfaces are disinfected and all your equipment is in working order. In many cases equipment will have been lying dormant for weeks, so make sure to give it a test to make sure it’s running smoothly.

It’s also worth displaying signs in various parts of your facility – whether it be in a gym, café or elsewhere – showing how often the space is cleaned and when it was last tended to.

Put new Covid-19 protocols in place

The way we exercise and recreate will be very different over the next few months.

Consider whether staff require gloves or other PPE for any elements of their job and make sure you have processes in place to mitigate any risk of them catching or spreading Covid-19. This is important for their safety, as well as instilling confidence in your customers.

Make sure you have plenty of hand sanitiser on offer and consider setting up signs to remind people to observe physical distancing rules and to wash hands before and after exercising. In gyms, it’s also particularly important to remind people to bring their own water bottle and to use their own towel.

Keeping records of all attendees will make contact tracing easier if the worst comes to worst and a Covid-19 case is recorded at your facility. Having a quality leisure management system like Envibe can make tracking who is in your facility easier.

There’s some impressive technology arriving that can help mitigate the risks of Covid-19 as well. For example, Centaman Entrance Control has launched new contactless ‘Thermo Detector’ wrist scanners that can be added to entrance control gates to measure members’ temperatures and ensure they aren’t carrying a fever before they enter your facility.

Centaman Entrance Control has also introduced an automated occupancy control solution that can added to many of its existing gate models to make sure occupancy limits aren’t exceeded. This will be a big help for many facilities as managing occupancy numbers is likely to be vital to comply with physical distancing and public health rules.

Get your leisure management systems in order

For many in the leisure industry, the temporary Covid-19 closure has been a time to get the back office in order. Leisure management systems and member and staff contact lists are integral to what we all do but it’s easy for them to be neglected.

Before re-opening, tidy up your member data and contact lists by double checking emails are still current, data is clean (e.g. first names, last names and other details are entered correctly) and duplicate, out of date or erroneous entries are deleted or corrected.

If you are using the booking or league management functionality available in Envibe, now is a good time to check all bookable venue and league details are still correct and up to date.

Check stock levels

Re-opening your doors will bring sales of the products, equipment, supplements and food and drink you provide on site.

Get prepared by undertaking a stocktake and updating stock levels in your leisure management system. Envibe makes it easy to record stock levels and to remove any discontinued items. It’s also worth double checking to make sure the stock you hold hasn’t expired or become too old to sell to customers.

The past few weeks have many people turning towards online shopping, so if you don’t have an online store for your products, now may be the time to create one.

Promote, promote, promote

Last, but by no means least, make sure your customers know when you are re-opening and what you are offering. Don’t be shy about telling them about any promotions you will be running to help them get their fitness habit back on track.

Some customers will be hesitant about going back into a shared space for recreation so it’s important to let them know about the measures you are introducing to ensure your facility is a safe and virus-free environment. Remind members of all the benefits of coming to your leisure centre – the community, the social element, and the wide range of equipment and spaces you have available.