Epsom’s Better Rainbow Leisure Centre will reopen this Saturday (July 25) after months of lockdown, and is asking swimmers to come ‘beach ready’ in order to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Rather than alluding to some outmoded idea of an ideal physique, the phrase is used here to encourage gym goers and swimmers to come ready-changed to help combat coronavirus.

Better, the group who run the centre, said they were asking all visitors to “change at home when possible” in order to minimize activity in the changing rooms and enhance the chances for physical distancing among gym goers.

The popular centre was forced to close due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in March, but has since revealed plans for a “phased reopening” starting this weekend.

In a statement posted to their website, a spokesperson for Better urged residents to be aware of and comply with their new hygiene rules, and confirmed that visitors will also need to book appointments before attending the gym in order to further limit spaces ahead of the reopening.

“Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. And while we’re so excited to welcome you back to our leisure centres, to make sure your visit is as safe as possible, we’ve put new hygiene measures in place at our gyms, pools and fitness classes in line with coronavirus regulations,” the statement read.

“Your cooperation, along with the safety measures and all the efforts from our staff, will help keep our leisure centres safer, better and stronger than ever,” it continued.

Visitors to the centre will need to book one-hour “appointments” through a specific app designed by Better that will help them manage gym users during the pandemic.

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) sought to amplify the centre’s message in the hopes of minimising any risk of spreading Covid-19.

“Swim customers are requested to arrive ‘beach ready’ with their costume on under their clothes to save time and reduce pressure on change areas.

“Gym and studio customers will be encouraged to bring their own drinking water – and shower and change at home,” EEBC advised residents last week (July 16).

Councillor Barry Nash, chair of the council’s community and wellbeing committee, meanwhile pointed out that it was only thanks to the diligence of residents during the pandemic so far that centre could now reopen, albeit with physical distancing rules imposed.

“It is thanks to everyone who followed official guidance that we’ve reached this positive milestone in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic and are bringing local services back into operation,” he said.

The play park, general bookings and spa at the Rainbow Centre will be re-launched after the initial phase of re-opening, Better said.