Coronavirus crisis grips city
Friday, March 20
INVERNESS Leisure today closed its doors for an indefinite period.
The shutdown of the venue was seen as inevitable, but its loss tears a gaping hole in the city’s health and social fabric.
For some – indeed many – it will come as among the hardest blows since the virus crisis began.
The Friday night closing of doors will be set in the context of what is happening in the health service, and in schools, which shut on Wednesday, and with the threat of job losses across the city.
But the loss, perhaps for months on end, of a vibrant centre used by thousands of people of all ages in the Inverness area will have a major impact on the Highland capital.
When the venue shut for 12 days over the festive period five years ago there was an outcry against such a length suspension of activity. Since then it has scheduled open days throughout the extended Christmas and New Year period each year.
The partial saving grace at this time of year is that with the onset of better weather there will be much more opportunity for people to exercise and train outside – provided guidelines on outdoor activities aren’t tightened up to contain the spread of the virus also.
As we reported earlier in the week, although it was still open, the number of people using the sprawling leisure centre had fallen dramatically.
And its closure was only seen as a matter of time.
High Life Highland, which runs the centre, said: “Customers are advised that due to the current covid 19 situation Inverness Leisure will be closed from 22:30 on Friday until further notice.”
It is understood staff will be deployed elsewhere and will continue to be paid.