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Second lockdown: Which public services are staying open?

The vast majority of arts, heritage and leisure services have had to shut for the national November lockdown - but some sites are accommodating amended opening hours.
Central Library
Central Library will be staying open to offer a reduced service - but most other public facilities have shut due to the second lockdown (Photo: Charlotte Moore)

From today, Thursday November 5, the following services closed, unless exceptions have been noted. They will be re-opened on Wednesday, December 2 – subject to alternative announcements by the government.

Libraries

  • Most libraries and the mobile library service in Peterborough will close their doors to the public
  • Central Library, however, will be offering a critical library service in line with government guidelines announced on Tuesday. The city centre library will be open on a limited basis (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10am and 3pm) to allow access to public computers; this will allow residents without computer access to check job applications, benefit claims and other public services
  • Digital and virtual services such as e-book lending are continuing as in the previous lockdown
  • Fines from overdue library books during this period will not be applied
  • Yaxley and Whittlesey libraries will remain open, with the Select and Collect service running, computer access available by appointment, and the mobile libray service still operating

Leisure centres, swimming pools and athletics track 

  • All leisure centres and swimming pools will close, as will Peterborough Athletics Track. Memberships have been frozen and no payments will be taken during the period of closure

Key Theatre

  • The Key Theatre will close, and a full updated list of shows for the period of lockdown is shown on the Key Theatre website
  • Where shows are postponed, tickets will be automatically transferred to the new date in the exact same seat, unless the Box Office is advised otherwise by buyers.
  • Where shows have been cancelled, a gift certificate will be automatically arranged for the full amount paid, and this will be posted to ticket-holders. Alternative arrangements can be made with the Box Office via email if customers are unhappy with this arrangement.

Parks and play areas

  • Parks and play areas will remain open throughout this lockdown period
  • Anyone using these facilities is reminded that safety measures are place and visitors should follow social distancing guidelines
  • Outdoor recreational sports such as tennis and football are not permitted, in line with national guidance

Most staff at these facilities have been placed on furlough during this period, or reassigned to help at Peterborough City Council's Coordination Hub, which continues to support the most vulnerable residents in Peterborough during the pandemic.

A core skeleton of staff will continue working to take care of sites and plan for re-openings in December and the new year.

Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for culture and recreation in Peterborough, said: "Since City College Peterborough Foundation and Peterborough Limited took over the running of Vivacity services we’ve made good progress in re-opening sites up for the public and were looking forward to re-opening Peterborough Museum later this month. 

"However, due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and the Government’s decision to impose a second national lockdown, we will have to close the majority of services once more. 

"This is disappointing for all involved, including residents who were looking forward to using these services over November and to staff. Many of these staff will be asked to assist Peterborough City Council’s Covid-19 Coordination Hub which has been providing support to the most vulnerable members of our society – support which will need to be ramped up again now this second lockdown has hit."

In an interview with the BBC, he stressed that it was the city council's intention to ensure that Peterborough would have the same number of libraries and leisure centres open and in use next year, saying: "We will use every endeavour to make sure all the facilities open up and bounce back better."