Frequently Asked Questions
How will Byw’n Iach operate in Level 0?
The Welsh Government has now confirmed that Wales has moved to Level 0 of the Covid 19 Control Plan. We are delighted to have played a part in the success of the Vaccination Program which has played a key role in allowing us to move forward and relax restrictions.
In light of this announcement, we have reviewed our Covid 19 Risk Assessment, and believe it is timely to introduce some changes to the way our centres operate. We are keen to try to strike the right balance between allowing more routine usage and increasing capacity, while at the same time continuing to keep our staff and customers safe, and continuing to build the confidence of some of our customers who have been nervous of about re-joining community activities.
The changes below will take effect from 6 September 2021.
What will change?
- Non-members will be able to start using our centres again. We would like to remind non members that the Annual Byw’n Iach Card is a great way to save money on every visit to the centre. The “Pay in Advance” Packages offer even greater discounts for frequent visitors. Our staff can explain the best option for you.
- The legal requirement to keep a distance of 2m will cease. We believe in remains sensible to continue to encourage customers to maintain distance from each other whenever possible. This reduces the risk of transmitting the virus and showing respect and courtesy in this way, is extremely important, given that some of our customers still feel nervous about being in busy indoor places. We would therefore continue to display our distancing signs and our staff will politely remind customers to be mindful of the needs of others.
- The “one way” arrangements within buildings will end but see the note above in terms of allowing space for others.
- We will review and increase the capacity of areas within our buildings but continue to work on a safe model.
- It will be possible to visit the centres without prior booking, but we would encourage customers to continue to book in advance and online wherever possible as it guarantees a place for you at busy times and reduces queuing at our reception areas.
- The 1 hour Public Swimming sessions will end but it will not be possible to book online. Customers are welcome to register/pay on arrival at the centre.
- Our Fitness Rooms will revert to pre Covid’s offer of equipment. With more equipment available, we remind customers to be mindful of others when moving around the space. Our Active for Life and NERS sessions will provide an opportunity for those who feel nervous, to visit with lower numbers present and a member of staff supporting and supervising. Reception staff will also be able to advise you on what times of the week are quieter and offer opportunities to exercise in a smaller group. The booking system will change for the Arfon site to reflect the new arrangements.
- The wet changing rooms can be used for changing before and after swimming along with lockers and hairdryers.
- Parents and guardians will be able to return to watch their children take part in indoor activities in some centres – depending on space available. Ask at your local centre for the relevant arrangement. We will continue to encourage parents of older children (8 +) not to enter changing rooms unless necessary. This helps to keep numbers lower in these confined areas.
- Our swimming teachers will return to the water to support younger learners using visors as PPE and will maintain distance through the use of equipment where practicable.
- Showers will again be available at poolside and in our changing rooms. Everyone is asked to try their best to take a quick shower and also to distance themselves from others when queuing for the showers.
- Our dry changing rooms will re-open but we ask that you keep changing and take a shower at home if possible to keep numbers low.
- All toilets will be open but customers are asked to continue to distance themselves from others within the space and wait patiently if necessary when the facilities are busy.
- It will be possible to restart 5 A-side Football Indoor and Children’s Parties. All organisers will be expected to take responsibility for recording the presence of those attended at each session. The centre will provide a form to help you do this. (Bookings accepted from 27/08/21).
- Small groups (up to 4) will be able to receive an Induction to the Fitness Rooms.
- Some of our cafes will reopen with the right to remove face coverings at the table when drinking and eating.
What won’t change?
- All customers over the age of 11 will be required to continue wearing a face covering when moving around the building and within our changing rooms and toilets. It will be possible to remove the face covering during exercise.
- We will continue to ask customers to sanitize their hands or arrival and frequently during visits.
- We will continue to ask customers to complete a self assessment before visiting to ensure that they have no Covid symptoms and no isolation requirements apply to them etc.
- We will continue to record and keep all customer contact details for 21 days to support the Track and Trace process
- We will keep the perspex screens in our reception areas and continue to ask customers to pay by contactless / non cash methods
- Our staff will continue to use the Covid’s weekly testing system, and continue to distance themselves from each other and you as customers unless there is an operational reason not to, e.g. providing 1st Aid, offering support to a child in a lesson, moving heavy equipment etc.
- The 1 hour bookable periods in the Fitness Rooms will continue for the time being to help us manage capacity, but at quieter times it will be possible to book into a second session on your arrival to extend your visit.
- Our staff will continue to clean the centres more frequently.
- We will continue to implement relevant measures to ensure adequate ventilation within all occupied spaces. Please do not close any windows or doors that have been left open. A few rooms will remain out of use for the time being.
- We would continue with the additional requirements on 3rd Parties who hire facilities e.g. Clubs, schools, organisations, i.e. Risk Assessment, Covid Officer, procedure for recording attendance etc.
While we are really looking forward to being able to return to arrangements that are more like those pre-Covid 19, we are also aware that the virus has not disappeared. We will monitor the impact of the above changes to ensure that we continue to offer safe and pleasant venues for you to exercise and enjoy. If you have any concerns or questions about the new arrangements, please contact us at email@example.com .
What will happen with my Direct Debit Swimming / Gymnastics Lessons?
If your child had not yes started back, but you are eager for them to do so now, please contact your local centre to enquire about availability. A Direct Debit arrangement will need to be in place, unless you have an existing arrangement, before you can recommence.
Each child attending swimming lessons will be able to use the changing rooms before and after swimming along with lockers and hairdryers.
Parents and guardians will be able to return to watch their children take part in indoor activities in some centres – depending on space available. Ask at your local centre for the relevant arrangement. We will continue to encourage parents of older children (8 +) not to enter changing rooms unless necessary. This helps to keep numbers lower in these confined areas.
*Unfortunately it will not be possible to restart Gymnastics Sessions at Penllyn, Glan Wnion, Pafiliwn a Bro Dysynni centres at this time due to a staffing shortage. We will attempt to recruit additional staff during the Autumn.
What is the latest update on Bro Ffestiniog and Dwyfor Swimming Pool?
Dwyfor Pool Update
We are delighted to announce that the Dwyfor Pool will re-open on the 6th September 2021.
A significant program of maintenance work has been undertaken during the past year and we look forward to welcoming you back to the water.
We have contacted all families who had signed up for swimming lessons before the lock down period to explain the arrangements for restarting swimming lessons in the week commencing 6th September. If for some reason you have not received a message from us please contact the centre directly. If you would like to register a new child for lessons you can do so by contacting the phone on 01758 613437.
The pool timetable is available on our website: Here
Entry for non-members is also available from September 6th onwards. But it is possible to save money on each visit by choosing one of our membership packages.
Bro Ffestiniog Pool Update
Unfortunately we need to inform you that it will not be possible to reopen Bro Ffestiniog Pool at the beginning of September, as planned. When refilling the pool ready for re-opening, it has become apparent that water is leaking. Gwynedd Council which is responsible for maintaining the pool on our behalf, is in the process of investigating the problem with the companies that have been repairing the pool over the last few months. Meetings are taking place on site this week and we hope to know more by the end of this week regarding any additional work and timetable for completion. Once we have a firm timetable for reopening we will let you know immediately.
We are aware that children in the area have now missed out on swimming lessons for an extended period. To try to respond to this, we will temporarily transfer Pool staff to the Glaslyn center, and adjust the timetable to create extra lessons for any children who normally receive their lessons at Bro Ffestiniog Pool. If you are able to travel to Porthmadog and would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact the reception at Byw’n Iach Glaslyn to discuss day and times options -01766 512711. If you are unable to travel or unable to find a suitable time at Glaslyn, your account will remain frozen for the time being. Automatic messages from the “Learn2” system will follow to confirm this.
For all other pre-paid Membership or Ticket customers at Byw’n Iach Bro Ffestiniog, your packages will be frozen until we can confirm a new re-opening date. You don’t need to do anything, unless you wish to unfreeze to make use of other centres eg Glaslyn. In that case, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
We understand that this will be very disappointing news for the area’s residents. We are also very disappointed that it is not possible to reopen and welcome you back. We will continue to work with the Council to reopen the pool at the earliest possible date.
What are the arrangements for Public Swimming / Fitness Room / Fitness Classes?
Non-members are now able to use our centres again. We would like to remind non-members that the Annual Byw’n Iach Card is a great way to save money on every visit to the centre. The “Pay in Advance” Packages offer even greater discounts for frequent visitors. Our staff can explain the best option for you.
All customers over the age of 11 will be required to continue wearing a face covering when moving around the building and within our changing rooms and toilets. It will be possible to remove the face covering during exercise.
It will be possible to visit the centres without prior booking, but we would encourage customers to continue to book in advance and online wherever possible as it guarantees a place for you at busy times and reduces queuing at our reception areas.
We offer Public swimming sessions, Lane Swimming sessions and 60+ and Young People’s Free-Swimming sessions.
The 1-hour Public Swimming sessions will be replaced with open ended sessions that will provide greater flexibility and more space to change. But it will not be possible to book online. Customers are welcome to register/pay on arrival at the centre.
The wet changing rooms can be used for changing before and after swimming along with lockers and hairdryers. We ask that you try to change as quickly as possible so that we can keep numbers within these spaces low.
Showers will again be available at poolside and in our changing rooms. Everyone is asked to try their best to take a quick shower and also to distance themselves from others when queuing for the showers.
Disabled customers can use a dedicated changing room before and after swimming by pre-booking the space by calling the relevant centre.
Fitness Room / Fitness Classes:
Numbers in our classes will be limited to allow adequate space. We ask all customers attending fitness classes to bring a suitable mat with them. There are mats available to buy at reception if you need one. Our trainers will adapt sessions to reduce equipment use and encorage distancing. Some sessions will move to outside space when weather permits in order to improve safety further.
We ask our Fitness Room users to make use of the cleaning equipment provided to clean each machine after use as a courtesy to other customers.
Our Fitness Rooms will revert to pre Covid’s offer of equipment. With more equipment available.
The 1 hour bookable periods in the Fitness Rooms will continue for the time being to help us manage capacity, but at quieter times it will be possible to book into a second session on your arrival to extend your visit.
We remind customers to be mindful of others when moving around the space as some of our customers remain nervous about participating in community activities. Our Active for Life and NERS sessions will provide an opportunity for those who feel nervous, to visit with lower numbers present and a member of staff supporting and supervising. Reception staff will also be able to advise you on what times of the week are quieter and offer opportunities to exercise in a smaller group. The booking system will change for the Arfon site to reflect the new arrangements.
Our dry changing rooms will re-open but we ask that you continue to change and take a shower at home if possible, to help keep numbers low.
What arrangements are in place at Byw'n Iach sites to protect customers from Covid-19?
Careful and detailed arrangements are in place to protect all of our customers and staff.
We have completed a detailed Risk Assessment that is updated regularly and, on that basis,, we have developed new procedures for the running of our facilities. The procedures are based on the guidance of Welsh Government and professional bodies in the leisure sector, e.g. CIMSPA, UK Active and National Sport Governing Bodies. We require all 3rd party organisations that arrange activities on our sites to complete their own Risk Assessment and share it with us.
Our Covid measures include:
- A requirement for customers and staff to ensure that they are free of Covid-19/symptoms and are not subject to any isolation requirements.
- Encouraging social distancing wherever possible within our facilities.
- Additional cleaning arrangements during the day
- An adapted programme to reduce numbers and improve social distancing in each session.
- Additional equipment to allow for regular hand sanitising
- Each staff member has completed Covid-safe training and available to ensure that customers understand the safety arrangements and that they adhere to them.
- Prior booking is encouraged to help us keep numbers at a safe level
- Maintaining records of visits and contact details for 21 days so that we are able to provide detailed information to the Track and Trace system if required.
- Each building has received a detailed professional ventilation inspection. The ventilation systems have been adapted where needed to ensure the required level of fresh air and the use of a few spaces prohibited for the time being. Some windows and doors will be kept open for now to further increase the flow of fresh air.
- Provision of Lateral Flow Tests for staff members
If you feel at all concerned about returning to your local centre, you can phone and ask for an appointment so you can visit. A member of staff would be happy to guide you around the building and explain the new arrangements to you
How to Book and Pay Online?
National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS)
On 17 March 2020, the NERS program temporarily ceased following government advice following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Exercise Referral Scheme has continued to provide virtual programs and complete follow-up assessments for the clients who were on the program and who had completed at least 4 weeks of activity prior to the lockout.
In consultation between Public Health Wales, the Welsh Local Government Association, the Welsh Government and Local Authorities, they are pleased to announce that we have opened the referral routes again from June 1st, 2021.
The NERS program will operate within the constraints of the current Government Covid-19 restrictions, the program will be delivered in combination, to include virtual, outdoor and indoor sessions to meet the pandemic level limit in your area at that time.
To access the NERS scheme you will need to be referred by a Health Professional (usually your GP, nurse or physiotherapist) who will have access to the NERS referral distribution website.
If you require further information on any aspects of the scheme in your area, please contact your local coordinator;
- James Richards – JamesLeighRichards@BywnIach.Cymru
Tel – 07833441175
- Terry Williams – TerryOwenWilliams@BywnIach.Cymru
Tel – 07813594777