UCD Sport and Fitness Centre is to remain open and adopt new measures such as the cancellation of gym classes and the wearing of masks indoors while the University runs educational activities at level 4.

UCD Sport and Fitness have now adapted operations in line with formal government instructions which bring Dublin to an elevated level 3 Covid-19 alert. The transition to level 3 provides minor changes to the operations of the centre mainly being the cancellation of gym classes/swimming lessons, reduced capacity in both gyms and the swimming pool, interference with UCD student sports society’s activities and stricter protective measures in general. 

A spokesperson from UCD Sport and Fitness stated that it is likely that from next Monday when the academic year begins and user usage increases, students will be required to book specific time slots for the gym and swimming visits in order to control capacity consistent with social distancing restrictions. This is subject to change depending on user numbers at present due to new travel restrictions.

On Thursday afternoon, a manager within UCD Sports and Fitness stated that the gym had prepared a brief outline of salient changes should the transition occur however noted that they were awaiting the government’s final decision along with further direction for their sector. She also stated that the main gym and Olympic swimming pool have somewhat of a “privilege” over smaller, local gyms in implementing adaptations such as social distancing due to its larger size and bountiful resources. 

On Wednesday evening, UCD Sports and Fitness announced that the wearing of masks would now become mandatory whilst in the centre and swimming pool changing rooms. However, the masks currently do not need to be worn whilst exercising. The Centre posted a social media post stating: “Face coverings are not required on the gym floor, in the pool and when moving directly from the changing room into the pool”. 

The gym of Roebuck residences has still yet to re-open due to Covid-19 implications, and when speaking to a spokesperson of UCD Residences, stated that its re-opening would be unlikely due to the smaller size of the private gym and recent case increase trends.

The main Sports and Fitness Centre located on the Belfield campus re-opened its doors on the 1st of July with Covid-19 hygienic measures in place such as a reduced capacity of six people per gym class, socially distanced double swim lanes and stricter cleaning guidelines for gym equipment and changing room facilities. 

Eve Moore – Reporter