We know many in our community are looking forward to outdoor swimming pools reopening for summer.
We’re making plans for this to happen, and we expect to be able to provide a date mid next week when we’ll open the gates on our lifeguard supervised pools for summer.
Right now, we’re working through the detail in the mandatory COVID Safe Plan for pools that was released by NSW Health late yesterday.
This COVID Safe Plan sets out NSW Health’s rules and requirements around what Council needs to do to operate the pools safely. It supports the NSW Public Health Orders.
“It’s important we get this process right and follow the advice within the NSW Public Health Order and the COVID Safe Plan,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“These are challenging times for all of us and we rely on the health experts providing advice on the measures we need in place to support our staff and their families and our community members.”
With the announcement last Sunday that permission would be granted to reopen the pools, we’ve fast-tracked the induction of our seasonal pool lifeguards who had been on standby ahead of the start of the pool season.
Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said throughout the pandemic Council had focussed on the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers and their families, as well as the broader community.
“We have plans in place for our operations across summer and it’s important we have flexibility in the plans and that we continue to check in and make sure these plans meet the NSW Public Health Order requirements and our community,” he said.
“Right now, we’re seeing increasing case numbers for our Local Government Area. This is extremely concerning and while we have the Public Health Order to follow, it’s important we have the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and community front of mind in our decision making.”
As we work through the site-specific COVID Safe Plans for each of our nine public pools which are supervised by lifeguards, we’re closely monitoring local COVID case numbers.
“I want our community to be aware that this is a fluid situation and we will have further updates mid next week,” Cr Bradbery said.
“In the meantime, our professional lifeguards are joined by volunteer lifesavers on patrol on our beaches and our nine, unsupervised, ocean rock pools are available for those wishing to exercise in the water.”