‘Tell us when our Bramley Baths can reopen’ urges Leeds MP

A Leeds MP has called the government’s relaxation of the lockdown “strange and inconsistent”, and has called for more clarity on when gyms and swimming pools can reopen.

By richard.beecham richard.beecham
Friday, 3rd July 2020, 1:24 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd July 2020, 1:27 pm

Rachel Reeves (Lab, Leeds West) has written to culture secretary Oliver Dowden about Bramley Baths, asking him to clarify when swimming pools will be allowed to reopen.

In her letter to the Culture Secretary, she highlighted the feeling among the team at Bramley Baths and swimmers that it felt unfair that the easing of lockdown rules permitted the reopening of pubs, but not pools and gyms.

Bramley Baths, which first opened in 1904 as washing facilities, is now run as a community-enterprise with the support of volunteers and fundraising.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Leeds West MP Rachael Reeves wants clarity on when Bramley Baths can reopen.

In her letter to the culture secretary, Ms Reeves wrote: “The team at the baths have worked exceptionally hard during the lockdown to ensure the baths remains in business, and are now getting the building ready to re-open.

“They have put in place detailed measures to adhere to Swim England’s extensive guidance, and are confident they can manage the baths in a safe and secure way.”

She added the team at the baths were keen to welcome customers back as soon as it is safe to do so.

Her letter concluded: “Coronavirus, and the necessary measures to contain its spread, have already imposed a huge cost on families and on communities up and down the country. I hope that the government will do all it can to minimise lasting damage to the social infrastructure upon which all our communities rely.”

The government announced recently that pubs, hairdressers and restaurants could reopen from this Saturday, while the two-metre social distancing requirement has been reduced to “one metre plus”.

However, many other businesses will remain closed for the foreseeable future, including spas, nail bars, tattoo parlours, beauty salons and massage parlours.

Businesses which include close proximity between households such as indoor gyms, soft play areas, spas, swimming pools and nightclubs will also remain closed.