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Singapore prepares for swimming pool openings as Coronavirus restrictions eased
With aquatic centres permitted to open under Phase 2 of Singapore’s post-Coronavirus circuit breaker period, the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) is proposing that just one person be allowed in a lane at any one time.
With pools set to operate at significantly reduced capacity, the SSA is also urging patrons to shower at home before and after their swims to discourage the use of communal facilities, which could increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.
The SSA has this week been providing affiliates with suggested guidelines on safe distancing for aquatic sports in anticipation of pools reopening, which could take place as early as the end of the month.
The guidelines have been presented to national sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG).
Last week, SportSG's Deputy Chief of Industry Thomas Lim confirmed that the reopening of public pools will take place in Phase 2, adding that they are formulating advisories for safe distancing measures, which it will implement.
He also highlighted that there has to be a differentiation between recreational use of facilities and use for classes.
Swimming pools have been closed since the circuit breaker measures commenced on 7th April.
Support for fitness and sport
SportSG has this week allowed aspiring Olympic and Paralympic athletes to return to training "under controlled conditions" at selected venues.
Suggesting that that these measures could provide a template on how public pools could reopen, , SSA President, Lee Kok Choy has advised “this could be the first step to do a pilot study on how to allow pools to be reopen and to build the confidence of the Government and the public to reopen pools in Singapore, and we are not taking the processes lightly."
The SSA's guidelines for elite athletes include temperature taking, mandatory usage of SafeEntry and contact tracing apps, mask-donning until swimmers take to the water and no sharing of equipment.
SportSG has also announced that fitness and sports businesses are to be given support in the form of a new SG$3 million Enterprise, Innovation and Capability grant.
This was announced by Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, who delivered the keynote address at ExPro’s virtual fitness conference last week.
The grant is aimed at helping more than 20 sports enterprises capitalise on growth opportunities in the digital economy, which include the development and application of digital technologies for training sports professionals and upgrading their skills.
Those eligible for this grant include gyms, health and fitness studios, sports event organisers, event management companies, sports facility operators and private sports academies and clubs.
Addressing the 1,000-strong online audience, which consisted of professionals and business owners, Minister Fu acknowledged that “many of you are anxious to resume business operations as soon as possible”, and gave the assurance that “we will continue to do what we can to support you and your business”.
SportSG has already come up with several initiatives to help members of the sports and fitness industry who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, it launched the ActiveSG Circle, a virtual platform that connects private fitness instructors and freelancers with its 1.6 million ActiveSG members.
It also created 500 temporary jobs to help those whose livelihoods have been affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
26th May 2020 - FitnessSG makes ExPRO a virtual event
20th March 2020 - Virgin Active closes Singapore gym after two positive Coronavirus tests
6th March 2020 - Singapore FIT Summit postponed from April to August
7th February 2020 - ASSA reports highly successful Singapore International Swim School Spectacular
29th November 2019 - New Chief Executive named for Singapore Sports Hub
18th September 2019 - International Swimming League releases ticketing and technical information
13th August 2019 - Sport Singapore announces plans for new Kallang sport and youth hub
22nd March 2014 - Singapore Sports Council to relaunch as Sport Singapore
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