Dundee residents under tighter Tier 3 coronavirus controls have been warned not to play games with Angus leisure facilities.
After fears drinkers could try to dodge the rules by indulging in cross-border boozing following the imposition of the heightened pandemic restrictions in the city, leisure chiefs are now on alert against fitness fans who may try to take advantage of the less strict Tier 2 status in Angus.
They have admitted it could be a challenge to keep rule-breakers away, with the boss of the area’s local authority leisure trust saying visitors will not be “interrogated” at the reception desk.
One councillor demanded tight track and trace measures in centres to stave off the threat of the “significant public health issue.”
It comes after Angus councillors were told forecasts over the level of recovery for the authority’s leisure and cultural services may have to be revised downwards and the operating body could struggle to reach 75% of previous income.
Fears remain around the long-term survival of many arms’ length council leisure trusts operating across Scotland, but officials have said Angus Alive is secure as a going concern for at least the next 12 months.
It wouldn’t be appropriate to interrogate them at the reception desk over where they have come from.
Angus Alive chief executive Kirsty Hunter
Funding support of more than £350,000 has helped the organisation through the coronavirus crisis.
A transformation programme has been drawn up and Angus Alive chief executive Kirsty Hunter said the recovery plan was evolving on an almost daily basis.
“There are some fairly significant differences for our services between Tier 2 and Tier 3,” she told a full meeting of Angus Council.
“Group exercise is one of the most significant areas within sports centres, and one of the most popular since we began re-opening.”
Arbroath West and Letham councillor Richard Moore asked the chief executive: “Have you measures in place considering that people in Dundee, if they can’t do their chosen sport because it’s locked down more, will consider coming to use Angus Alive facilities?”
Ms Hunter said: “I would expect that all of us, as responsible citizens, are not doing that and it wouldn’t be appropriate to interrogate them at the reception desk over where they have come from.
“If they are looking to sign up for a membership we would have to get an address for that.
“Obviously we would encourage people not to travel to our facilities and to only use the facilities in their particular locale and their particular tier,” she said.
The chief executive said leisure centre staff were in an “almost impossible situation” with regard to challenging people over there they had come from and the wearing of face coverings.
However, Kirriemuir SNP councillor Julie Bell said: “If there are individuals coming to use on a one-off basis and not as part of a membership, their details should surely be captured by staff in our centres (through track and trace). Can we make sure that is happening please, that is a significant public health issue.”
Angus Council leader David Fairweather previously urged Dundee drinkers not to head to Angus or Perthshire for a pint, saying “if we’re silly about it we will pay the price, move up a tier and face more restrictions.”
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