NSW gymnasiums set to reopen but indoor aquatic facilities will remain closed until December

The NSW government’s exit from the current lockdown in Sydney and other parts of the state from October 11 will not allow indoor water facilities to reopen until December.

While gyms and fitness centers will reopen once a 70% vaccination target is met, with a limit of 20 people per class, current NSW government advice does not include indoor aquatic facilities in its plan to reopen the state at 70% or 80%. vaccination rate.

While an easing of restrictions in Greater Sydney allowed the opening of outdoor pools from last Monday, but indoor pools are to remain closed.

According to advice from the NSW government, “As of Monday, September 27, 2021, you will be able to resume swimming in public outdoor pools either in your local government area or within 3 miles of your home.

“Indoor recreation facilities such as squash courts, indoor pools, gymnasiums, table tennis centers, fitness studios, bowling alleys and ice rinks must close. “

Under current arrangements, vaccinated and unvaccinated people can share the same public swimming pools, as the NSW government does not require clients or staff to be vaccinated.

However, most aquatic centers limit the number of people by setting up reservation procedures.

In response to the ongoing closures, Olympic swimming star Emma McKeon said the ongoing closures “would put lives at risk.”

McKeon won seven medals at the Tokyo Olympics, including four gold, to become Australia’s most decorated Olympian.

McKeon, whose family runs a swimming learning center in Wollongong, said it was especially crucial to resume learning to swim classes as soon as possible, especially as summer approaches.

She said that with swimming pools closed and many children unable to take swimming lessons for at least six months due to the pandemic, the risk of increased drownings will only get worse the longer the government waits to reopen. indoor pools.

McKeon wrote “It is of great concern that the NSW government has not included indoor swimming pools in the plan to reopen the state at the 70% or 80% vaccination rate.

“We’re heading into summer and the kids haven’t been able to have swimming lessons for six months or more if we wait until December to open the swimming schools.

“Keeping indoor pools closed will put lives at risk.

“Last year, after shorter confinement, there was a 108% increase in drownings among 0-4 year olds. Learning to swim is an essential service. #watersafety #swimming lessons #learntoswim #mckeonswiming.

Olympic champions Grant Hackett and Michael Klim each supported McKeon’s message, while Olympic silver medalist Maddie Groves added, “Good on you Em.”

Gyms facing unique challenges
Commenting on the imminent opening of the fitness facilities, Fitness Australia Managing Director Barrie Elvish was quoted by 9 News as saying that one of the difficulties the gyms were struggling with was its young clientele, which included people were less likely to be vaccinated because of where they were seated. vaccine deployment.

9 News quoted Elvish as saying that “one of the largest unvaccinated groups is the 20-40 age group, but this age group is also the largest membership base for gyms.

“So when the total eligible population reaches 70% vaccinated, gyms will likely only have about 50% of eligible members vaccinated.”

Elvish said some gyms could therefore have viability issues with reopening until December, while noting that there was also a “pretty noisy minority” in the same age group who were either hesitant about the vaccination, or completely anti-vaccination.

Image: The Warringah Aquatic Center will be part of NSW’s indoor swimming facilities that will be closed until December.

About the Author

Nigel benton

Co-Owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is co-owner and publisher of Australian leisure managerst, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. After establishing the magazine in 1997, shortly after moving to Australia, it managed to grow its readership to over 11,500 and its acceptance as an industry journal for professionals in water sports, attractions , entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport and tourism. and places.

As early as 2020, he launched the new Asian leisure business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his blog comments (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be worth thinking about.

Click here to connect with him through LinkedIn.

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