In response to the latest national lockdown announcement by the nation’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Swim England has revealed more than 23,000 individuals have signed its petition pleading for leisure centres to remain open.
As we reported, in what he terms ‘preventing a medical and moral disaster’ for the National Health Service regarding the coronavirus, Johnson has implemented the new lockdown effective Thursday, November 5th through at least December 2nd.
Although schools, colleges and universities can remain open, pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will be closed for 4 weeks.
What this means for swimming is that non-elite aquatic athletes will be shut out of their leisure pools, but elite athletes can still train privately. Per Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, elite sport, “can continue to be played behind closed doors.”
Since the announcement, however, Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has sent an open letter containing the aforementioned 23,000 signatures, urging Prime Minister Johnson to change his mind and let swimming pools open during this second national lockdown.
This letter was sent ahead of the government debate taking place tomorrow, November 4th. On this date, the House of Commons will debate and vote on Johnson’s proposed measures.