Keep up the good work, Calderdale

As more services and activities start to reopen in line with the Government’s step-by-step roadmap out of lockdown, Calderdale Council says that one of the best things we can all do to support businesses and each other is to continue our good work to keep COVID-19 rates down.

From today (Monday 12 April), the country has entered Step 2 of the national roadmap. More outdoor settings and attractions can now reopen, including outdoor hospitality with table service. Outdoor mixing has a lower risk of spreading COVID-19 than indoor mixing, but we must still limit outdoor gatherings to two households or up to six people, and stay two metres apart from other people at all times. No indoor mixing is allowed at this stage.

More indoor premises can now reopen, such as non-essential shops, libraries, gyms and salons. These should only be visited alone or in household groups. Weddings and receptions with up to 15 guests can take place.

The Council has written to licensed premises, hospitality and leisure service businesses and takeaways in Calderdale, sharing advice on how to reduce the risk of the virus spreading in their premises during the latest phase of reopenings. Council teams have worked with and supported businesses throughout the pandemic, providing a reassuring presence, carrying out regular patrols, visiting premises, giving advice to businesses, engaging with local people, and enforcing rules where necessary.

The Council is pleased to announce that some more of its services are reopening, in line with the national roadmap and COVID-safety guidelines.

The swimming pools and fitness centres in Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge, plus Todmorden Sports Centre, will reopen on Tuesday 13 April. North Bridge Leisure Centre in Halifax is being used as an important distribution centre during the pandemic and the election count will take place there in May, so it is due to reopen to the public on Monday 17 May.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, customers need to book and pay to use the Council’s leisure facilities before they visit. This can be done online at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/sports-and-fitness This is to limit numbers to maintain social distancing and so that facilities can remain cashless.

A range of other measures are also in place to reduce risks, including the requirement to wear a face covering in facilities when not taking part in activities. Changing rooms will remain closed for dry activities and showers will be out of use until Monday 21 June at the earliest.

As of Monday 12 April, more facilities are available at the libraries in Brighouse, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, King Cross, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden. People can now return items, browse and select stock, collect pre-ordered items, access public computers, printers and photocopiers, book to view Local Studies resources, access study space depending on availability, and use public toilets and baby changing facilities. The children’s library spaces are pre-bookable for a 30-minute stay.

Measures are in place throughout all open libraries to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading. Face coverings are required, hand sanitiser is available and there are one-way systems and limits on numbers.

Meeting room space, newspapers and magazines are not currently available in Calderdale libraries for safety reasons, but all digital services are still in place – access to free e-books, e-audio books, digital magazines and comics; access to 24-hour reference resources from the Digital Library at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/leisure-and-culture/libraries/digital-library; and story time and craft sessions on the Calderdale Libraries Facebook page. The Home Library Service has been running throughout the pandemic and can be accessed by emailing HomeLibraryService@calderdale.gov.uk or calling 01422 288062.

Many market traders in non-essential retail have now reopened in the Council’s markets. A range of protective measures have been in place in Calderdale markets throughout the pandemic, helping people to shop as safely as possible whilst supporting local, independent traders.

Public toilets have now reopened in the following Calderdale parks: Calder Holmes, Hebden Bridge; Centre Vale, Todmorden; Manor Heath, Halifax; People’s Park, Halifax; and Savile Park, Halifax. These facilities add to the six public toilet blocks which were already open in each of the main towns. Additional cleaning is taking place.

For the most up-to-date details of Council services and COVID-19 information and support, please visit www.calderdale.gov.uk