Following the NSW Health announcement that public pools can reopen from late September, Cessnock City Council is mobilising for residents to enjoy a COVID Safe dip as early as Saturday 2 October, pending State approval.
Councillors unanimously supported the motion to open the region’s pool facilities as soon as possible at this week’s meeting of Council, citing Cessnock residents’ keenness to engage in safe outdoor activity that combats the poor health outcomes associated with long-term lockdown.
NSW Health made available its COVID-19 Safety Plan for outdoor swimming pools on Thursday afternoon, giving the green light to councils and businesses across NSW to submit their plans for approval to reopen. Council has submitted its plan aiming for a 2 October launch to the 2021/22 Summer swim season.
Cessnock Mayor, Bob Pynsent said the reopening of pools was a step in the right direction.
“Our community deserves to enjoy the upcoming Summer after a very tough couple of years. This is why we’re taking all the necessary steps to ensure we can open our pool facilities as soon as possible.”
Cessnock City General Manager, Lotta Jackson echoed the Mayor’s sentiment and stressed the importance of a COVID Safe reopening.
“We’ve welcomed the State Government’s recent announcement and very much look forward to seeing our community emerge from lockdown this Summer. It’s also important that we do our due diligence to ensure the safety of both patrons and staff.”
Upon reopening, there will be strict conditions in place. While pool patrons won’t be required to be vaccinated, admission will be session based to allow for regular cleaning and visitors will need to book ahead of time. Patrons will not be permitted to congregate in groups of more than 5 people if fully vaccinated or 2 people if partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. Communal seating will be restricted, the use of communal facilities will be staggered and visitors will be encouraged to shower and change at home. Lap swimming will be permitted but recreational swimming and swimming clubs will not resume until the state wide lockdown is fully lifted.