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Revised NSW reopening roadmap will see early opening of indoor pools for lessons

Revised NSW reopening roadmap will see early opening of indoor pools for lessons
October 4, 2021

The NSW Government’s latest advice on the reopening of Greater Sydney’s economy indicates that when the state reaches an 80% level of full vaccination an increased number of activities will be possible - including indoor swimming pools reopening for lessons - along with sport stadiums, theme parks and race courses being able to reopen with density limits of up to 5000 people.

With parts of the current lockdown set to be eased as of Monday 11th October when the state reaches a 70% level of double vaccination, the 80% vaccination target is expected to be reaches on or around Monday 18th October.

The latest advice states that when this is achieved “from the Monday after NSW hits the 80% (aged 16 and over) double-dose vaccination target, eased restrictions will allow those who are fully vaccinated.”

The reopening of indoor pools for lessons is a significant as earlier advice had said indoor pools were unlikely to reopen until December.

Welcoming this development, the Aquatics and Recreation Institute (ARI) NSW advised that it is “thrilled that the NSW Government has listened to the calls of the sector and revised its Roadmap to Recovery to permit indoor pools to reopen for swimming lessons when NSW achieves its 80% vaccination target.”

ARINSW Chairperson, Matt Griffiths advised “we are pleased that the State Government has constructively engaged with ARINSW and recognised the importance of swimming lessons recommencing at indoor pools on 18 October 2021 under COVID safe conditions.

“Indoor pools comprise the majority of aquatic venues in NSW and play a vital role in the delivery of essential learn to swim lessons and provide employment opportunities for thousands of people.”

The latest guidance advises that when the 80% vaccination level is reached people who are fully vaccinated will be able to undertake the following:

Exercise and recreation

  • Gyms, indoor recreation and sporting facilities reopen with density limits and up to 20 people in classes.
  • Indoor swimming pools reopen for lessons only.
  • Community sports permitted for fully vaccinated staff, spectators and participants.

Events and entertainment

  • Major recreation facilities (including stadiums, theme parks, and race courses) reopen with density limits for up to 5000 people, or by exemption.
  • Entertainment facilities (including cinemas and theatres) reopen with density limit or 75% fixed seated capacity.
  • Information and education facilities (including art galleries, museums and libraries) reopen with density limits.
  • Outdoor public gathering permitted for up to 200 people.
  • Ticketed and seated outdoor public gatherings permitted for up to 500 people with density limit.
  • Amusement centres and nightclubs remain closed

Travel and transport

  • No distance limits for travel.
  • Travel holidays between Greater Sydney including Central Coast, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Blue Mountains and Regional NSW permitted (not permitted for people who are not fully vaccinated).
  • Carpooling permitted (members of your household only for people who are not fully vaccinated).
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds remain open (including people who are not fully vaccinated).

Reopening of indoor pools for lessons
ARI went on to advise that “since the NSW Government announced the Roadmap to Recovery on Monday 27th September 2021, the sector has experienced widespread confusion and anxiety as to when indoor pools would reopen.

“ARINSW made urgent representations to NSW Government to seek assurances that indoor pools would be reopening before the first day of summer.”

With recent changes to the Roadmap to Recovery, ARINSW will continue to engage with Government on the development of the COVID-19 Safety Plan for the re-commencement of swimming lessons at indoor pools.

The NSW Government Roadmap to Recovery has been updated and is now available via the NSW Government website.

Easing of restrictions at 70% full vaccination - www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/easing-covid-19-restrictions/70-percent

Further easing of restrictions at 80% full vaccination - www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/easing-covid-19-restrictions/80-percent

Opening up NSW in December 2021 - www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/easing-covid-19-restrictions/opening-in-dec

Image courtesy of Carlile Swimming.

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10th August 2021 - Aquatic industry delivers $9 billion in economic, health and social benefits to Australia

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26th July 2021 - Federal Court rules Fitness Industry Award covers elite swimming coaches

19th July 2021 - New Aquatic and Recreation Institute Board confirms strategic direction for the coming 12 months

7th July 2021 - With swim schools facing permanent closure industry leader calls for learn-to-swim services to be classed as an essential service

13th September 2020 - Royal Life Saving survey suggests that swim school enrolments fell by 30% in August

19th May 2020 - ASCTA releases best practices for restarting swim schools and learn to swim programs

4th November 2013 - Parents value swimming and water safety lessons above other out-of-school activities


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