SCOTTISH Borders Council has announced a number of key dates when local facilities and services will reopen. 

In a joint press release issued today (April 14) by the council and Live Borders, dates for the reopening of gyms, swimming pools and museums were announced as “the COVID-19 situation continues to improve”. 

Both organisations have been working together to develop the phased reopening plan, focusing on “supporting vulnerable people” and “reinvigorating the local economy”. 

Ewan Jackson, CEO of Live Borders, says that services will not be opening “as quickly as we may like” but hopes the dates reassure “all users of our return”.

Key reopening dates:

w/c April 26

  • Health and fitness sites, including gyms and swimming pools        

May 17

  • Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, Duns
  • Heritage Hub, Hawick

May 31

  • Mobile library service

June 28

  • Start of a phased reopening of museums and galleries

August 16

  • Indicative start of a phased re-opening of libraries, library contact centres and standalone contact centres. Earlier opening may be possible in certain circumstances

August 30

  • Halls and community centres operated by Live Borders


  • Live Borders facilities which are currently supporting COVID-19 vaccination and testing programmes

Services will not be able to reopen to pre-COVID opening times or capacities in order to comply with coronavirus restrictions. 

Simon Mountford, depute leader of SBC

I am delighted that we can announce this positive news today. A significant amount of effort and planning has gone into developing this joint reopening schedule.

While there are clearly grounds for optimism as the COVID situation continues to improve, we must remain cautious about what may lie ahead; ultimately, we will not reopen services until we are absolutely confident that they will be safe for customers and staff.

Live Borders’ continued support for the vaccination programme and Test and Protect must be a top priority and this does impact on what can be reopened initially. 

A range of services will, therefore, continue to be delivered through alternative means. This has been the case for many of our services throughout the pandemic; they have operated successfully and with high customer satisfaction.

Important lessons were learnt following the reopening of some services last summer, when restrictions allowed, and these have informed the reopening plan announced today. 

We will keep Borderers updated at every stage as we continue to move ahead with our recovery plans and further reopening of services.

Ewan Jackson, CEO of Live Borders 

We are here for the community of the Scottish Borders and I am delighted to be able to publish our plans for reopening.

It has been a very difficult year for everyone, and we know how important our services are across the region. 

I am also incredibly proud of the role Live Borders and our staff have played in fighting the pandemic over this past year, including in the crucial ongoing vaccination and Test and Protect programmes.

I hope that publishing our plans reassures all users of our return, and while all services may not reopen at the same time or as quickly as we may like, we have to ensure that our financial restart position is protected and sustainable.

Reopening our swimming pools and leisure centres over the course of a week is a logistical challenge, and brings many complexities from returning staff from furlough and deployments, to ensuring staff and public safety in our buildings. I would ask everyone for patience and understanding over this period.

The recent appointment of our new head of library services demonstrates our commitment to developing a sustainable and first class library service across the Borders, and we are excited to see the future of our libraries develop.

I look forward to welcoming all our service users back over the coming weeks.

Tim Patterson, NHS Borders’ director of public health 

The fight against COVID-19 must continue, and the support that Live Borders is providing to NHS Borders through the rollout of the COVID vaccine and with our local Test and Protect contact tracing team has been invaluable and is greatly appreciated.

I am delighted that Live Borders is now also able to press ahead with the reopening of health and fitness sites, which will once again play a key role in supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities, particularly after this latest period of lockdown.