COVID -19 Update Club Closure Friday 20 March 9:30pm

March 19th 2020

I wrote to you all with details of our plans to keep the club open as long as possible. As you’ll know, all efforts by the UK and Scottish Governments are focused on slowing the spread of Coronavirus, to save lives and reduce the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed.

Initial advice was aimed at reducing the risks to those over seventy by urging everyone to minimise unnecessary contact.

Indeed, since the Prime Minister and First Minister urged us all to stop socialising at events and venues, we’ve seen sport, concerts, festivals, cinemas, theatres and religious services cancelled, shut or postponed long term.

In addition all Glasgow Life venues including museums, galleries, libraries, swimming pools and gyms are now shut. The Western Baths say they’ll close on Friday for a month and of course last night things ramped up further with the announcement that every school in the country is also to shut on Friday for the foreseeable future.

Our initial actions at the club were taken in line with advice available to enable us to remain open, whilst protecting our members and our staff. Our team has done a magnificent job doing just that, but the strain on maintaining a rota to cover opening hours and keep the place as germ free as possible is reaching breaking point.

Given the latest announcements, I also believe it is no longer realistic for us to chart a different course whilst virtually every other organisation in our city has closed in support of the aims of reducing the spread of the virus.

It pains me a lot to close the club for any length of time, especially in this our 150th anniversary year and I hope to re-open as soon as possible. I can’t give you an exact date, but closure for 4 weeks at this stage would seem realistic. We can only base our decisions on when to re-open once we see the impact of current recommendations and balance risks to members and staff. And I’ll do that as soon as I can.

The impact across the country is of course immensely disruptive and it is an extremely concerning time for everyone. Your club is already losing income from cancelled classes, lessons and sessions. We still have staff wages and other bills to pay and we’ll seek whatever Government assistance that may be available. But ultimately your club can only get through this if you remain a member. By staying with us, you’ll help ensure we survive, thrive and serve generations to come.

Best wishes and take care of each other.

Gordon McDougall


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