Australia’s State-By-State Pool Reopening Guide

Earlier this week we reported how the nation of Australia is beginning to reopen, and is on a course to remove most domestic restrictions by July.

According to the Australian Government Department of Health, Australia has had 7,060 total cases of COVID-19, but 6,389 of those have recovered. The country has experienced just 99 deaths from COVID-19, and daily reported cases have dropped dramatically from their peak in late March (as many as 400 reported cases a day).

Although there is a national, 3-step framework for the reintroduction of sport and recreation within Australia, the overriding plan is still subject to the relevant policies and regulations of each State/Territory government and public health authorities.

You can review a summary of the national 3-step plan here, but below are the state-by-state guidelines for returning to swim training as we know them to be currently.

New South Wales

As of May 19th, the New South Wales’ Minister for Health and Medical Research has enabled indoor swimming pools with a length of 25m or more to resume limited operations.

The stipulations found in the official exemption are as follows:

  1. The pool can only be open for the purpose of allowing squad training to take place.
  2. Each lane of each swimming pool can only have one swimmer in the lane at any one time.
  3. There are no more than 10 persons in a swimming pool at any one time.
  4. In any designated area for parents, family or carers, this area can only be used if there is sufficient space to ensure there are 4 square metres of space of each person in the designated area.


  1. Indoor & Outdoor swimming
    1. As of May 15th, indoor swimming can resume, provided there are 10 people only in the pool at one time; one person per lane when lap swimming. Additionally, there must be a minimum of 1.5m between people. (QLD Government Roadmap)
    2. As of June 12th, up to 20 people can be in the pool at one time, with the same 1.5m social distancing parameters.
    3. As of July 10th, up to 100 people can be in the pool at tone time, still with 1.5m in between participants.

South Australia

According to the official South Australia Recovery Plan, public swimming pools have been reopened as of May 11th. Facilities must:

  1. ensure there are no more than 10 swimmers per pool, acknowledging facilities may have more than one pool
  2. limit the number of people in each separate pool to 1 person per 4 square metres (density requirement)
  3. for lap swimming, limit swimmers to one per lane
  4. ensure swimmers are not accompanied by more than 1 caregiver who is not swimming
  5. keep communal showers and change rooms closed
  6. not provide food or beverages on site
  7. observe, and encourage observing of, social distancing (1.5 metres rule)


The Tasmania Sports & Recreation Roadmap follows the rolled out approach with these dates:

  1. As of May 18th, up to 10 people at one time can use indoor and outdoor pools. This may include lane swimming and/or pool-based exercise, ensuring social distancing requirements are met (eg pools may open 3 lanes for 3 people to do lap swimming, and open the remainder of the pool for 7 participants in a group class). Spas, saunas and bathhouses, whether stand-alone or attached to a pool, remain closed.
  2. As of June 15th, indoor and outdoor pools may operate for up to 20 people per pool. This may include lane swimming and/or pool-based exercise, ensuring social distancing requirements are met.
  3. As of July 13th, future return to full sporting activity (indoors and outdoors) in alignment with the AIS framework will be considered, based on advice from Public Health Services.


The new Chief Health Officer directions as of May 12th, indoor swimming pools are restricted from opening through at least May 31st. However, there is a clause applied to a single professional sporting team practicing at one time as follows:

Western Australia

As of May 18th, public pools (indoor and outdoor) are permitted to open under strict rules and contains 20 patrons per pool. The guidelines can be found here.

Additional phases for reopening and easing of restrictions are expected to be rolled out over the next 4 weeks. You can view Western Australia’s roadmap to recovery in its entirety here.

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5 months ago

There will not be any competitions though as some state borders not open until September

Reply to  Gheko
5 months ago

There might not be competitions anyway, but state borders won’t matter. Australian States compete pretty much entirely internally with the exception of about 5 meets per year. With the exception of open age high performance athletes who would likely be able to travel interstate anyway.

Venue capacity limits and banning of crowds are a much bigger problem.

Along with the fact a lot of clubs are just hoping to start swimming at all still at this stage.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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