Libraries reopening

Three of our libraries are now open for limited computer access only. This is part of our phased approach to reopening following Public Health England guidelines.

Pancras Square, West Hampstead and Queen’s Crescent libraries are open to give customers limited access to computers only. Visitors don’t need to book a place, computers are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

The three libraries are open for amended hours, 10.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Saturday.

Keeping everyone safe

Libraries will have a number of measures in place to keep residents and staff safe. These include:

  • Voluntary contact tracing is in place
  • Computers spaced to allow social distancing
  • Regular cleaning between users
  • It is mandatory for library users to wear face coverings
  • Family PC use limited to one adult and one child only
  • Customers are limited to one session of up to one hour per day

Monday 17 August - Request and Read

From Monday 17 August customers will have limited access to book stock through a ‘Request and Read’ service from Highgate, Holborn and Swiss Cottage libraries stock. This is a type of click and collect approach, which enables books ordered online or on the phone to be picked up from a counter in the library. On return all books will then be quarantined for 72 hours before being available for reissue.

For more information, see Request and Read

Our remaining libraries

We aim to reopen the remaining libraries from September 2020.

You can continue to visit our digital library which has a range of free online books and information resources. 

Leisure centres

Camden’s leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools are preparing to reopen to both members and non-members on Saturday 25 July 2020 following the latest Government guidance


We are working closely with leisure partner and operator Better Leisure to make sure facilities are Covid-19 secure ahead of reopening. Services and activities will be re-introduced in phases to manage capacity and maximise safety, starting with gym, swim and group exercise for the first few weeks. The swimming pool at Pancras Square Leisure will reopen slightly later due to essential maintenance works in early August.


The outdoor swimming pool at Oasis Sports Centre reopened on Monday 20 July. To visit the pool, you’ll need to book a slot


Keeping safe in Camden’s leisure centres 


To keep residents and staff safe, Better Leisure has introduced a number of safety procedures which can be viewed in this short video


Leisure centre users must pre-book gym, swim or fitness classes and pay online remotely or at the centres by card only. Each leisure centre user will only be allowed one hour on site for each activity. Users may attend one activity type per day effectively allowing customers to attend 3 sessions, provided they pre-book and leave the centre.


Physical changes to the environment in our leisure facilities to enable social distancing will include:

  • reducing the amount of gym stations and relocating some equipment to other rooms (eg squash courts) to allow a 2 metre gap between users 
  • reallocating sports halls as studio space, increasing capacity for group exercise
  • only changing rooms in swimming pools will reopen initially
  • doubling the width swimming lanes
  • 3 metre individual bays will be created within exercise studios to ensure a minimum of 2 metres between users during classes
  • separate entrance and exits

For more information, take a look at Better Leisure’s frequently asked questions on reopening leisure services. 

Steps to reopening


We’ll reopen leisure activities in phases to keep everyone safe. More information on dates (subject to review), is as follows:

Phase one - from Saturday 25 July to end August/early September 2020:

  • Gym, lane swimming and group exercise reopen
  • These will be available in bookable slots. Non-members can register on GLL’s website or via the Better app and get a free booking membership. 
  • All customers are strongly encouraged to book and pay online or via the app in advance of attending the centre, but will be able to book in-centre if they don’t have access to the internet. 
  • There will be no ‘front of house’ reception function in the early phases or cash transactions. 

Phase two – from September to December 2020:

Subject to Government guidance, the following services may resume:

  • Swimming lessons and courses, with reduced capacity. 
  • School swimming lessons 
  • Some of the council’s targeted physical activity programmes for residents with long term conditions, such adult weight management and exercise on referral, could be reintroduced with a reduced capacity.  

Phase three – from January 2021 to June 2021:

Subject to Government guidance, a further rollout and expansion of phases one and two, increasing the amount of users and capacity and reintroducing further services and provisions.

More information


All of the latest information on centre reopening, including booking and safety procedures can be found on the Better Leisure Coronavirus webpages
 

Parks

Using parks and open spaces safely

It’s important that we all enjoy Camden’s parks and open spaces safely. Please help up to keep these spaces clean and safe for everyone:

-    Keep a 2m distance where possible
-    Wash your hands regularly and as soon as you get home
-    Take litter home with you where bins are full or not provided
-    Do not BBQ in Camden’s parks

If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home - this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.

Tennis courts and Multi-Use Games Areas

Tennis bookings are now open here. You can find advice to help you stay Covid safe whilst playing tennis here

Playgrounds and outdoor gyms

We have been working to make sure playgrounds and outdoor gyms can be opened safely. We began to reopen these spaces from 6 July. If you are using playgrounds or outdoor gyms please keep yourself and others safe by:

-    Keeping a 2m distance where possible
-    Washing hands and using sanitiser regularly
-    Use face coverings where possible
-    If areas are busy please come back later
-    Do not eat or drink in playgrounds and outdoor gyms
-    Please bring your own hygiene products and wipe down equipment after use
-    Do not use these spaces if you or anyone from your household has coronavirus symptoms

Further guidance 

For more information, visit the government website.

Public toilets

Our free to use public toilets are open at the following locations: 

  • Camden Town - gender neutral
  • Lincoln’s Inn Fields
  • Pond Square
  • South End Green
  • West End Lane 

Find out more

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