Swim England CEO Nickerson: ‘Hammer Blow’ As Pools In England Close In Third Lockdown

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Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has demanded that swimming pools be included in the list of facilities allowed to open at the “earliest available opportunity” after England was plunged into a third national lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed tougher restrictions should be followed immediately in a bid to tackle the spread of the new variant of coronavirus with more than 27,000 people currently in hospital with the disease.

The latest emergency measures mean indoor and outdoor swimming pools will have to close and all organised sporting activity and swimming lessons will come to a halt although indoor elite sport is able to continue.

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It was also announced that all schools will close until at least February half-term.

Wales went into lockdown last month with Scotland going into tough new measures from midnight on Tuesday with a legal requirement to stay at home.

Nickerson described the move as “another hammer blow” and called on the Government to provide financial support to operators.

She said:

“We clearly don’t want to see pools closing and it’s so very upsetting that are we faced with this extremely distressing situation once again.

“Aquatic activity is a lifeline to so many people – not least our members and their affiliated clubs – and that’s why we will be doing everything we can to make sure pools are among the first facilities to reopen at the earliest available opportunity when it is deemed safe to do so.

“We will continue to keep fighting for pools to be classed as essential services and exempt from any future restrictions. So many people with a range of debilitating physical and mental health conditions rely on exercise in the water to help them manage their conditions.

“Keeping them closed will inevitably lead to more people requiring treatment from overcrowded hospitals and GPs struggling to cope with an increased workload.

“This is yet another hammer blow to the operators running pools up and down the country and I hope the Government will be giving them the necessary financial support to get them through these troubling times.”

 


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