Date For Reopening Of Swimming Pools In Scotland Brought Forward To End Of August

Duncan Scott - Photo Courtesy: Scottish Swimming

Swimming pools, along with gyms and indoor sports courts are allowed to open in Scotland from August 31, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

Great Britain swims as one nation at the Olympic Games but its squad is divided into home countries when it comes to the Commonwealth Games – and the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sturgeon told Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, that she is slicing two weeks off the timeline for reopening of pools and other sports facilities in response to a message from the sports and fitness world that activities barred for the past few months contribute greatly to the welfare and mental health of the population.

Scottish Swimming has shared its guidance on safe reopening of swimming pools with operators but issued a warning today that not all of them pools were likely to reopen on August 31, for a variety of reasons, including economic and the time it takes top prepare facilities for use after lengthy closure.

Euan Lowe, Chief Executive of Scottish Swimming, which boasts Duncan Scott at the helm of several Britain teamsters, welcomed the announcement, saying:

“So much work has gone into where we are and of course this is the news we have all been waiting for. We will still need to be patient though and support our facilities with their phased opening and dates of opening, and hope that Clubs will work together to maximise opportunities that present themselves in the coming weeks.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members and partners during these past months and I look forward to us all getting back to the water in the very near future.”

Sturgeon said that there would be further lifting of restrictions on sports facilities, including swimming pools, to follow on September 15 but from the end of this month, however, she added that all decision were subject to change, depending on virus transmission rates. She noted:

“I must stress these possible changes are at this stage indicative only. And given the volatility we face in transmission of the virus, there is a very real possibility that these plans will change.”

She told the Scottish Parliament that 77 new cases of coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, noting that marked “the highest number of daily cases in three months”.

Scotland will remain in “phase three” of the lockdown easing process, behind the pace of England (where numbers of infections are much higher, with the death rate the highest in Europe), said Sturgeon.

A review will follow in the first week of September but for Scotland to move to “phase four” of easing, ministers would have to be satisfied that “the virus is no longer considered a significant threat to public health”, Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament, adding that latest figures showed that “this is definitely not the case”.