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90% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff heading towards becoming fully vaccinated

90% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff heading towards becoming fully vaccinated
September 6, 2021

Royal Life Saving Society - Australia (RLSSA) has revealed the result of a poll that it has undertaken on COVID-19 vaccination within the national aquatic industry, which shows:

  • 90% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff are either fully vaccinated or in the process of becoming fully vaccinated.
  • 74% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff expect their colleagues to be vaccinated.
  • 62% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff believe governments, not businesses, should mandate vaccines for staff.

The survey follows how the aquatic industry and swim schools should manage COVID-19 vaccinations having been a hot topic during a webinar hosted by the Royal Life Saving at the end of last month.

The webinar attracted 550 registrations from aquatic facility owners, operators and staff with more than 350 participating live and the remainder listening to the event recording.

An anonymous poll of the 350 aquatic facility owners and operators conducted during the webinar strongly confirmed that the aquatic industry are highly vaccinated and primed to continue to play a vital community health, recreation and safety role as part of national COVID reopening plans.

Speaking of the poll results, RLSSA Chief Executive, Justin Scarr stated “the vaccination rate amongst aquatic facility staff is outpacing the wider community vaccination rates and reflects industry’s eagerness and readiness to play its role leading into spring.”

Commenting that a fully vaccinated aquatic workforce is assumed to be critical to future customer confidence and public health guidelines, Scarr noted “the poll results also interestingly reflect a view that Government should provide clarity in the form of mandating vaccinations for employees in consumer facing, health and education sector roles.”

Vaccination attitudes towards patrons
The poll also looked at whether aquatic facility owners and operators wanted customers to be vaccinated and found:

  • 84% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff expect their customers to be vaccinated; however, 45% are worried about the effect of them placing additional barriers on customers coming back to swimming and water safety.
  • 55% believe it should be mandatory for aquatic facility and swim school patrons to be vaccinated.
  • 74% of aquatic facility owners, operators and staff believe governments, not businesses should mandate vaccines for patrons.

Explaining this, Scarr noted “this likely reflects industry understandings of government plans for living with covid stages, with 45% of industry polled expressing concern about placing barriers to participation.

“This likely indicates governments should provide further clarity on mandating vaccines for patrons, including the implications for children.”

The webinar coincided with the impending release of additional COVID-19 Guidelines in the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO).

The GSPO are nationally agreed industry standards endorsed by the National Aquatic Industry Committee (NAIC) on behalf of the National Aquatic Industry.

The National Aquatic Industry Committee is reviewing the Guidelines on COVID-19 risk management with a goal of endorsement by mid-September, priming aquatic facilities and swim schools across the country for the ‘living with COVID’ stage of national reopening plan.

More information is available via the following links:

Main image courtesy of Royal Life Saving Society - Australia.

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