City News

Outdoor Public Pools reopen across the Inner West and Inner City

Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre (pictured above) reopened to Inner West residents on Monday. Photo: Facebook/Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre.

By ASTON BROWN

Outdoor pools reopened on Monday following an announcement from the NSW Government last week, with the change allowing both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to visit outdoor pools across NSW.

Inner West Mayor Rochelle Porteous welcomed the news.

“Opening these to our community will significantly improve wellbeing and services can be managed in a safe and professional way.” Mayor Porteous said.

“I thank the NSW Premier and Health Minister for amending the Public Health Order to allow for all outdoor pools to re-open.”

Community Concern

The change sees all outdoor public pools in NSW follow Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths which opened earlier this month after lobbying from Inner West Council.

Daniel, a Haberfield local, wrote to Council on Monday morning urging a stronger stance on the unvaccinated entry.

“Unless someone is immune-compromised or a young person under a certain age then my feeling is they ought to be vaccinated,” Daniel, who requested that his full name not be published, told City Hub.

“Inner West Council have been marketing the vaccine as our ticket to freedom, so a stance on the unvaccinated would be consistent with that messaging.”

Inner West Councillor Marghanita da Cruz shared the community’s concern but ensured constituents that visiting the pool under the new rules is safe.

“When you go to the pool the same rules apply to doing outdoor recreation (walking) … you have to keep your distance … those rules are still in place,” da Cruz told City Hub.

“It’s only really a problem for the people who haven’t been vaccinated, they are putting themselves at risk.”

Leichhardt local Chona Navarro made the return to Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre with her daughter on Monday morning.

“It was well distanced, no massive crowds,” Navarro told City Hub. “People are conscious of personal space and lane numbers are not concerning.”

While outdoor pools have welcomed back the community, there remains confusion as to whether change rooms have also reopened.

A spokesperson from the City of Sydney Council told City Hub that change rooms will remain closed in the inner-city, while local pools confirmed their change rooms are now open and instead it’s the showers that are closed.

Other community facilities are set to open once the 70 per cent double-dose COVID-19 vaccination target is met in NSW.

Bookings are not required although all pools are operating at reduced capacity at the one person per four square metre rule. The limits to visit times are to be determined by local councils and will be between one and two hours.

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