The restrictions on pool openings all around the world have begun to ease up as Australia joins the group where they plan to relaunch sports in the country.
In cooperation with their government guidelines, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) set up an outline on how the sports will plan to return in a COVID-19 environment.
The document says the “AIS Framework is a timely tool for ‘how’ reintroduction of sport activity will occur in a cautious and methodical manner, to optimize athlete and community safety”. These decisions are to be made in close consultation with Federal, State/Territory, and Local Public Health Authorities.
Australian high performance squads have already returned to the pool in South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory. The return comes from a drop in COVID-19 cases in these states and territory, while they are still following strict social distancing guidelines.
The states of Queensland, New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria will be opening pools as well. These states should see a full return within the next two weeks. Much like in the U.S., the guidelines also vary on a state to state basis.
This group contains a lot of Australia’s top talent. Swimmers in these states include Elijah Winnington, Cameron McEvoy, David Morgan, Emily Seebohm, Emma McKeon, David McKeon, Thomas Fraser-Holmes, Laura Taylor, and Georgia Bohl.
The pools in Australia have been closed since March 23rd. While practices are beginning to resume, the teams still must follow social distancing guidelines. The use of locker rooms will be limited and practices potentially could have one swimmer per lane.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made its impact in Australia with nearly 7,000 cases and almost 100 deaths.