Scotland’s New Coronavirus Restrictions Close Local Pools

Over 2 million people will soon be impacted by Scotland’s new coronavirus restrictions, which implement a 4-tier approach to containing the pandemic within the nation. In place until from November 20th to December 11th, areas have been designated as Level 1, 2, 3, or 4, with 4 being the most restrictive.

Per the Scottish government’s strategic approach to ‘suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while returning to a more normal life for as many people as possible,” below are the designated assignments.

Local authority area Protection level
Aberdeen City Level 2
Aberdeenshire Level 2
Angus Level 3
Argyll and Bute Level 2
Edinburgh (City of) Level 3
Clackmannanshire Level 3
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Level 1
Dumfries and Galloway Level 2
Dundee City Level 3
East Ayrshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
East Dunbartonshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
East Lothian Level 3
Will move to Level 2 on 24 November.
East Renfrewshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
Falkirk Level 3
Fife Level 3
Glasgow City Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
Highland Level 1
Inverclyde Level 3
Midlothian Level 3
Will move to Level 2 on 24 November.
Moray Level 1
North Ayrshire Level 3
North Lanarkshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
Orkney Islands Level 1
Perth and Kinross Level 3
Renfrewshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
Scottish Borders Level 2
Shetland Islands Level 1
South Ayrshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
South Lanarkshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
Stirling Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
West Dunbartonshire Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.
West Lothian Level 3
Will move to Level 4 for 3 weeks from 6pm on 20 November.

For the strictest level 4, which will soon apply to East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian, the following notable restrictions apply:

  • Services that involve “close contact” cannot operate. These include hairdressers, barbers, hair removal and massage therapies, dress-fitting, tattoos and piercings, and indoor portrait photography.
  • Indoor sports facilities, including gyms and leisure centres, have to close but outdoor gyms can stay open.
  • You can meet other peoples outdoors for informal exercise or sport and outdoor non-contact sports is allowed.
  • All holiday accommodation is closed to tourists.
  • Only essential shops can remain open, along with outdoor retail, such as garden centres, outdoor markets and car lots. Click and collect and online services can continue to operate.
  • Indoor visitor attractions and all leisure and entertainment premises, including cinemas, must be closed, along with public buildings such as libraries.

As such, pools within this area will be shut down as of November 20th. That includes the University of Stirling, which typically hosts elite swimmers Ross Murdoch, Aimee Willmott, Duncan Scott, Kathleen Dawson and more. The latter 3 are representing the London Roar in the ISL final next weekend and remain in the Budapest bubble.

We have reached out to the University of Stirling to see if any training exceptions are being made for Olympic hopefuls.

Scottish Swimming released an official statement regarding these updates, pleading with the Scottish government that swimming provides not only a low-risk way for Scots to stay active, but it can also serve as a lifeline for certain demographics.

“Staying active promotes strong mental and physical health, which is vital to help people cope during these challenging and unprecedented times.The unique weight-bearing properties of water and the low-impact nature of our sport means it is accessible to all and can be a lifeline for the elderly and those with serious health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease – keeping active those most at risk of Covid-19 complications,” reads these statement, which you can read in its entirety below.

Statement from Scottish Swimming

The First Minister has today announced that 11 Local Authority areas are to be moved into Tier 4 of the COVID protection levels from 6pm on Friday night. This means that all non-essential shops, as well as pubs and restaurants, libraries, hairdressers, gyms and swimming pools will close for three weeks in the following areas:

Glasgow City; Renfrewshire; East Renfrewshire; East Dunbartonshire; West Dunbartonshire; South Lanarkshire; North Lanarkshire; Stirling; East Ayrshire; South Ayrshire; West Lothian

With 90% of clubs enjoying and relying on being back in the water, Scottish Swimming asks what cost these new restrictions will have on the mental and physical health and well-being of our nation?

Last week Scottish Swimming wrote to the First Minister and encouraged clubs to write to their own MSP to explain the vital role swimming pools play in the armoury of the nation’s health and well-being as we continue the fight against Covid-19.

Sport plays a key part in keeping the population healthy, which is more important than ever in these troubled times. As the biggest participation sport in the UK with 2.9 million people taking part at least once a week, swimming is a sport that has a wide appeal to all ages, all abilities and provides a physical and mental workout.

Staying active promotes strong mental and physical health, which is vital to help people cope during these challenging and unprecedented times.The unique weight-bearing properties of water and the low-impact nature of our sport means it is accessible to all and can be a lifeline for the elderly and those with serious health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease – keeping active those most at risk of Covid-19 complications.

Swimming pools are vital social hubs that bring communities together to swim and socialise for health fitness and fun, regardless of age, gender or background. Swimming is central to family and community life as a bonding activity for parent and child or a life-line for those in need of social contact.

Swimming is such an important life skill. Pre-Covid-19, every week in Scotland there were 100,000 children learning to be safe, confident and competent swimmers.  And the 24,000 club members – for whom swimming is a way of life, keeping them resilient, positive and mentally strong – need a safe space to be able to practice their sport.

Swimming pools are not just about swimming! The world of aquatics takes in artistic swimming, diving, open water, water polo and masters swimming – not to mention the first safe steps towards a whole host of outdoor water sports. Pools offer something for everyone whether it’s to enjoy, to learn or to compete.

Swimming is a safe sport.  Since the reopening of the leisure sector – the latest UK data, measured from 25 July to 11 October – sites have seen more than 45 million visits, with an overall rate of 0.99 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 visits. This is testament to the robust guidelines in place and the work of the pool operators to ensure compliance with guidance to make pools safe environments.

Throughout the pandemic the Scottish Government has said little about the value of sport. Sport can play its part and needs to be seen as an essential tool in the fight against the virus as well as providing a valuable contribution to the nation’s mental and physical health. But for this to happen, swimming pools need to remain open.

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Human Ambition
12 days ago

About 0.99 per 100.000 visits: It all started with one virus host.

HeadTimer
12 days ago

This is sad for the Scottish swimmers. In the spring in the US, some were able to take advantage of outdoor/backyard pools. But I’m pretty sure that’s not a thing in Scotland, and they’d be outrageously cold if not heated anyway.

Lola
Reply to  HeadTimer
12 days ago

English swimmers currently in that same position. Pools shut and far too cold to swim outside now.

anonymous
12 days ago

Coronavirus is an overblown hoax being pushed by tyrants around the world so that they can control our lives.

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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