A LEISURE centre in Walton will reopen from tomorrow after being shut when a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Tendring Council closed Walton Lifestyles, in Prince's Esplanade, last week as a precaution, after a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

The closure allowed deep cleaning to take place at the facility over the weekend.

Now it will reopen on a limited basis on Wednesday and Thursday, from 11am until 7pm and with a full swimming lesson programme, while staff numbers are reduced due to self-isolation.

Walton Lifestyles will then fully reopen on Friday, although all sessions must be booked in advance.

Alex Porter, the council's cabinet member for leisure and tourism, thanked Walton Lifestyles users for their patience.

“We would like to apologise for anyone inconvenienced by this temporary closure, which was a necessary precautionary measure to make sure we keep our staff and leisure centre users safe,” he said.

“We’re glad to be re-opening again, and my thanks go to all our staff and contractors for their quick response to this. I’m also pleased to report the staff member who tested positive and triggered our steps is continuing to do well.

“With our new rule on face masks from Monday, and more flexible booking slots, we’re continuing to keep our facilities across the district open for residents to enjoy in a Covid-secure way.”

The booking system across all of the council's leisure centres has been upgraded to provide bookable slots at 15 minute intervals, instead of on the hour, to offer more flexibility to users.

From Monday, all leisure centre users and staff must wear a face covering while moving around in the facilities, unless they are exempt for health reasons.

Masks can then be removed while taking part in activities themselves.