With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to ease on both sides of the Tasman, many leisure centres are beginning to re-open their doors.

This re-opening guide provides guidance on resuming membership payments and courses, as well as information about managing contact tracing and capacity limits at your facility. These processes are simple using Gladstone and some recently released tools from Jonas Leisure.

Resuming memberships

Many leisure and fitness centres permitted members to suspend their membership payments for the duration of the COVID-19 closure. Now that restrictions are easing, you may want to consider whether or not you wish to unsuspend their memberships.

Some facilities are leaving memberships suspended for the time being and charging members at a discounted casual rate for each visit until things get back to normal and full service can resume.

However, when the time comes for you to unsuspend memberships, Gladstone makes this easy. This may be done as part of a policy decision to unsuspend members on a specific date, or simply by unsuspending their passes when they tag in at your reception desk for the first time following your re-opening.

Keep in mind you will need to notify customers that their accounts and any membership payments will resume. It’s also important to check in with your payment solutions provider EziDebit to make sure your organisational account is unsuspended, and payments have resumed.

Resuming courses

Just like for memberships, you will need to consider how you will configure and run classes to meet COVID-19 requirements. You may need to consider any class size limits, as well as the number of people who will be returning immediately.

In many cases it will be simplest to re-create your classes in Gladstone, setting new class size limits and start and end dates, before and re-enrolling participants.

Use online member services to take the pressure off

The first few weeks of re-opening will be a busy time as members return to your facility.

It’s a good idea to encourage members to make use of Gladstone’s online portal to update their name, contact details and other account information from the comfort of home.

Staff can also manually update member details as required – perhaps as part of the re-opening process for each member when they visit your leisure or fitness centre.

For new members, Gladstone makes it easy to create members’ accounts and sign them up at your centre. Once set up, members can use Gladstone’s online portal to update their personal details and billing details without creating unnecessary queues at your front desk.

Contact tracing and managing check ins

Contact tracing is now required in Australia and New Zealand so you will need to collect details of every member or casual class attendee who visits your facility. This can be done in a number of ways – whether it’s via a pen and paper system or the use of a digital solution that streamlines the check in and check out process.

The free Visitance app released by Jonas Leisure earlier this month makes it simple for leisure centres, aquatic facilities and gyms to gather necessary information from visitors by using a QR code placed at their front entrance or reception desk a facility.

Members and other visitors can easily scan the QR code using the camera app on their phones to load a branded web page where they can enter details including their name, phone number and email address before going inside. This information is then securely held, allowing managers to quickly contact people if a case of COVID-19 is discovered among facility users.

The site can also be set up to interface with a screen at the entrance of a facility to show a real-time count of how many people are currently inside – making it easy to ensure occupancy limits are not exceeded.

Timeslot booking to manage capacity

Governments in Australian states and New Zealand have put in place capacity limits for health and fitness centres to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading and to make contact tracing easier if anybody does happen to catch the virus. These vary by country and state, so it’s important to know the rules in your area.

Jonas Leisure has released a new solution called Group Move which makes it simple to set up bookable time slots with pre-set capacity limits for group fitness classes and spaces within your facility, such as swimming pools and gyms. Members and casual visitors can then use Group Move to book the activity and time slot of their choosing.

If a particular time slot reaches your nominated capacity limit, it will be blocked out to prevent additional bookings. Staff at your front desk can also use Group Move to manually book people in as they arrive, for any walk-up members or visitors. Group Move will help you maintain your capacity limits and stay compliant.

Communicate any changes

With so many rule variations from country to country and between states, don’t assume your members will know that you’re ready to re-open.

Get in touch with them via email or SMS to give them a full update on your re-opening plan. Make sure to include any relevant dates, changes to hours, updated group fitness timetables, information about contact tracing and capacity requirements and any COVID health and safety procedures in your centre.

Also consider outlining the process for how they can resume their memberships, passes or enrolments to your centre and answer any commonly asked questions you may expect.

Need more support?

Contact our support team to learn more about how to re-open your facility with Gladstone. We’re happy to help.