Swimmers based in Northern Ireland have been out of the pool for several months, watching other closeby nations slowly make their way back into the water.
As of our latest update last month, Swim Ireland and Swim Ulster had each expressed their ‘extreme disappointment’ with governmental decision-makers’ omission of swimming pools in Leisure Centres reopenings on July 17th. At the time, no date other than August 7th for pools was mentioned in that Northern Ireland announcement, leaving swimmers and governing bodies wondering why the drastic difference between N.I. and the Republic of Ireland who saw its pools opened on June 29th.
However, things are looking up for Northern Ireland athletes, with swimming pools, spas and community centres getting the green light to open on Friday, July 24th.
Per the Northern Ireland Executive Office statement, ‘swimming pools in leisure centres, hotels and private facilities will be enabled to open’, along with the following entities outlined in its directive set to be enacted as of tomorrow:
- The maximum number of people who can gather in a residential setting will increase from six to 10, with a requirement that they come from no more than four different households and an expectation that social distancing and other public health advice is observed;
- Overnight stays in a different household will be enabled;
- Community centres and halls will be enabled to reopen;
- Spectators will be enabled to attend outdoor competitive games with numbers to be determined by the venue in line with public health advice;
- Swimming pools in leisure centres, hotels and private facilities will be enabled to open;
- Wet treatments in spas, such as saunas, steam rooms and hydrotherapy pools will be permitted to resume;
- Bowling alleys will be enabled to reopen;
- Indoor and outdoor funfairs will be enabled to reopen.