David Lloyd Leisure reopens its clubs in England after 126 days
-premium health group has redesigned its spacious clubs to double gym areas at most locations –
- operator well-placed to lead the industry after successfully opening outdoor clubs last month -
Following the Government’s announcement that health clubs and gyms in England can reopen, David Lloyd Leisure, the UK’s largest health, fitness and racquets group has welcomed its members and team back into its 89 clubs in England after 126 days of closure. It has reopened with full social distancing and rigorous hygiene measures in place to ensure the health and safety of its members and team at all times. It will be operating to a minimum two metre social distancing throughout the club with group exercise classes held with a 2.5 metre distance.
David Lloyd Leisure operates 100 clubs in the UK. Following guidance from the Northern Irish government, it has reopened its Belfast clubs two weeks ago, and awaits guidance from the local Government before reopening its eight clubs in Scotland and two clubs in Wales.
It is uniquely placed to operate within the new safety guidelines, as the Clubs are predominantly located in suburban areas, many spread over 100,000sq ft with large outdoor areas. By using its large indoor and outdoor spaces, David Lloyd Leisure has effectively redesigned the layout of its clubs allowing it to offer a wide breadth of facilities and exceed the two metre social distancing Government guidelines. Facilities include spacious gyms, group exercise classes, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and tennis courts.
In addition, many David Lloyd Clubs have already been open for the last few weeks, offering outdoor gyms, group exercise, tennis and kids clubs, and its teams are experienced and well-placed to implement those measures in the clubs’ indoor areas.
80% of clubs are operating with a second gym area on indoor tennis courts, providing maximum safety and a comfortable experience for members. It will also only be using a proportion of the equipment in the large gyms to ensure social distancing.
There will be outdoor and indoor exercise spaces for gym and group exercise and allowing generous social distancing of at least two metres in most parts of the club. There is also a longer gap in between classes to allow for a deep cleaning process. Numbers of people in the clubs’ indoor, outdoor and kids swimming pools are carefully monitored and limited, and lane swimmers are asked to keep 5ms apart.
Other measures include significantly increasing the number of cleaning staff who are cleaning throughout the day and clear social distancing measures have been introduced in all areas of the Club. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided for teams, and company has sourced cleaning materials and hand sanitiser, both of which exceed the recommended grades suggested. Plastic screens have been installed in reception and there is restricted access to turnstiles to manage capacities.
Every member of the team has been trained to be aware, and take personal responsibility, for ensuring the quality and maintenance of the highest standards of health and safety within the clubs.
During June and July, 50 of David Lloyd Clubs were able to offer outdoor group exercise, gyms and tennis, as well as kids clubs. Group Exercise was limited to small groups of up to five members to enjoy, with weekly schedules of over around 90 classes per week. including Rucksack functional and bootcamp style workouts, along with some other favourites, BLAZE, HIIT, group cycling, conditioning, Pilates and Yoga.
Glenn Earlam, David Lloyd Clubs CEO said; “It’s a big day today as we welcome our much-valued members and team back to our clubs. So many have told us how much they have missed the club during lockdown and its great that our communities are now reunited. Physical and mental fitness is more important than ever, as it has been proven to be key to enhancing the immune system, protecting people from this virus and illnesses generally. We are delighted that we are able to once again offer our wide range of facilities and expertise to support our members’ wellbeing.”
He continued; “Our teams have worked tirelessly for weeks to redesign our spacious clubs to allow for social distancing as well as put in place rigorous health and hygiene processes. We’ve redesigned our layouts to ensure that strict social distancing and safety measures can be easily adhered to, while making sure that our members still have an enjoyable experience with us.
During lockdown, the operator also launched David Lloyd Clubs @Home, a digital health and fitness club offering over 750 live exercise classes during the four month closure, plus on demand workouts, activities for children and health and wellbeing advice from its team of experts. Available via the David Lloyd Clubs App, it will continue to be offered free of charge to members.
Summary of measures implemented:
We are closely following government guidelines in each country we operate in and working with the industry body UKActive, to provide a safe environment to train in and facilitate social distancing.
In England measures are:
• Using our ample space effectively - 80% of clubs will operate with a second gym area on indoor tennis courts allowing for generous social distancing, workout areas of 3m x 3m providing maximum safety and a comfortable experience.
• Where we are not able to move equipment, will take a proportion of equipment out of use to ensure social distancing. .
• We are limiting bookings/numbers for group exercise classes to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Members will be spaced at 2.5m apart.
• We are reducing the number of members in certain areas of the club to minimise congestion and ensure members and team members can practice social distancing.
• We have introduced plastic screens to reception desks
• We are asking members and team members to remain a safe distance apart in line with current social distancing guidelines.
• We are using signage, including clear floor markings to help members to remain apart, and team members will be on hand throughout our clubs to support.
• We are trialling thermal imaging camera technology in some of our Clubs.
Upweighted our cleaning processes:
All cleaning is carried out with a fully viricidal disinfectant cleaner, certified to kill enveloped viruses (including Covid-19) within 60 seconds.
• We have increased the number of cleaning staff we employ, with particular attention being paid to areas of high traffic.
• We have introduced sanitisation stations across the Club, and have increased the amount of sanitiser spray and disposable blue paper available to members to further encourage them to wipe down and clean equipment before and after use.
• We have introduced extra time between classes to allow us to fully clean all areas between classes.
• All team members have been trained on our new ways of working for cleaning and social distancing and all will be responsible for cleaning and sanitising around the Club.
Safety of our team:
• We have completed Covid-19 workshops so the whole team is on board and understand what is required of them for us to safely run our Clubs.
• Team members have been told they should not leave home if they display any Covid-19 symptoms
• The team will be washing their hands before their shift, after completing cleaning tasks and frequently throughout shifts.
• Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to team members. Disposable gloves and aprons will be worn when completing any cleaning.
• Social distancing rules apply to team members too. We have re-organised offices and rotas to ensure social distancing can be achieved.
For further information please visit www.davidlloyd.co.uk/new-normal.
Further information/interviews with Glenn Earlam may be arranged through Liz Bartlett, [email protected] m: 07484 039373 or Cow PR [email protected].
About David Lloyd Leisure Group:
The David Lloyd Leisure Group has 123 clubs - 100 clubs in the UK and a further 23 clubs across Europe, comprising its two brands David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs (of which there are three - Chelsea, Notting Hill and Kensington). In January 2020, it exchanged contracts on eight clubs from the Meridian Group in Germany. In March 2020 it announced it had exchanged contracts to acquire Geneva Country Club, its second club in the Geneva region.
It has over 660,000 members and employs around 8600 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 2000 while it contracts the services of more than 680 tennis professionals.
David Lloyd Club’s racquets facilities are unparalleled with over 1080 tennis courts as well as over 400 badminton and squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.