Key Council services including libraries set to reopen in Edinburgh

A number of key council services in Edinburgh, including libraries, community centres and galleries, will shortly reopen following the move to Level 3 in Scotland earlier this week.

Plans have been developed to prioritise the reopening of these venues in line with the Scottish Government’s current guidance and route map out of lockdown.

Services resuming include:

  • Three libraries reopening on Monday (3 May) with a further six in the coming weeks (full details below)
  • The City Art Centre will open on 15 May with four free summer exhibitions scheduled
  • Outdoor extra-curricular activities in schools restarted this week
  • Edinburgh Leisure centres are now open for individual exercise, including gyms, swimming pools, indoor court hire, racquet sports and children’s coaching, with outdoor contact sports for 12 to 17-year-olds and community access to high school sports facilities also restarted.

Central, Drumbrae, and Kirkliston libraries will be open this Monday (3 May) followed by Craigmillar, Fountainbridge, McDonald Road and Stockbridge (10 May). Wester Hailes will reopen on 17 May and Gilmerton on 24 May. It is hoped that the remaining libraries will open again as soon as possible after these dates.

Residents are reminded that numbers will be limited in the buildings due to the safety measures in place and visits will need to be booked in advance – this can be done online or by phoning the library.

The buildings will be open by appointment for browsing and borrowing books, using computers and the internet, processing bus passes (National Entitlement Cards) or collecting hearing aid batteries. Returning books and picking up free sanitary products will not require a booking.

Social distancing measures will be in place and wearing face coverings is mandatory.

Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Donald Wilson, said: “It’s great to see our first libraries reopening their doors next week with more to follow in May as part of our plans for a gradual reopening of community amenities across the city.

“This phased reopening, which will also see the City Art Centre welcome back visitors, community centres offering essential services like youth work and Edinburgh Leisure venues up and running again, is the first step in our gradual and careful emergence from lockdown.”

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