Royal Life Saving last week advised industry into the fact that we were seeking clarification regarding learn to swim for outdoor pools. We have been back and forward with the NSW Office of Sport and NSW Health on behalf of the industry. This has now been clarified and is as follows:
A NSW Health Spokesperson has said:
"Outdoor public swimming pools in stay at home areas and areas of concern opened on Monday 27 September with a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.
NSW Health has worked with the Office of Sport and the Office of Local Government, as well as a range of peak industry groups, to develop a safety plan to help outdoor swimming pools reopen.
The safety plan sets out what pool operators need to do to fulfil their obligations under public health orders and minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on their premises, such as ensuring 1.5 metres physical distancing wherever possible and preventing overcrowding at the pool.
Pool patrons are subject to the existing rules on outdoor recreation and exercise. There may be groups of up to five people from different households, not including children 12 and under, if all people who are at least 16 years in the group are fully vaccinated. Otherwise, groups are limited to 2.
Learn to swim classes may take place in accordance with these rules on outdoor recreation and exercise.
The safety plan is available here "
What does this mean for outdoor operators:
Complete your Safety Plan
Ensure Physical Distancing, Hygiene, Ventilation and all other COVID Safety Practices are in place
Learn to Swim is permitted under the rule that up to 5 fully vaccinated people at a time over 16 years of age)
N.B. "Even though the 5 person limit on gatherings does not include children aged 12 or under, the rule is not intended as a means to allow large gatherings of children for the purposes of exercise or outdoor recreation."
"Given the severity of the outbreak and the significant continued risk of transmission presented by the delta COVID-19 variant it is NSW Health’s and NSW Education’s strong recommendation that parents and carers keep their children at home. This is reflected in announcements from the Premier, NSW Chief Medical Officer and NSW Education that the delta COVID-19 variant is very easily transmitted and the high number of infections occurring in children who then pass it on to the household".
"Under the NSW Government’s roadmap, indoor pools will be allowed to reopen from 1 December 2021, with the one person per 2sqm rule.
A number of factors are considered when assessing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in indoor settings, including the ability of people to wear masks, the likelihood of people congregating in close proximity, and the use of the facilities by children who are unable to be vaccinated at this time.
Vaccination rates among the broader community is also a key consideration in assessing the risk of transmission in indoor settings.
All indoor venues are required to fulfil their obligations under public health orders and minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 on their premises".
What does this mean for indoor operators:
Complete your Safety Plan
Ensure Physical Distancing, Hygiene, Ventillation and COVID Safety Practices are in place
After 1 December Operators will be permitted to open Indoor Swimming Pools with the one person per 2sqm rule including learn to swim and squad training.
Royal Life Saving notes that within the NSW Governments Roadmap to freedom unveiled for the fully vaccinated Published: 9 Sep 2021 Released by: The Premier, Deputy Premier this Media Release identified the 70% double dose milestone indicates that "Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the 1 person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people who are double vaccinated."
We are continuing to actively engage with the NSW Office of Sport and NSW Health to further clarify these matters on behalf of the industry.