As a follow-up to our report earlier this month regarding Swim Ireland‘s moving ahead with plans to return to swimming, the organization has today revealed its ‘Return to Water Roadmap’. Details include when its national training centers will open, as well as when club swimming can resume, assuming nothing unexpected happens in the next few weeks.
“The actions set out in the Roadmap aim to support our members and all aquatic participants, coaches, volunteers and supporters to return to the water in a safe and timely manner. Key to this is both an understanding and acceptance that the COVID-19 risk cannot be eliminated (although it can be mitigated against and minimized with the correct measures and communications) and the re-opening of facilities,” reads the letter addressed to Swim Ireland members.
Aligning with organizations and federal plans around the world, Ireland is rolling out a phased approach to post-COVID-19 lockdown mode.
First, per the Irish government, outdoor swimming falls under those activities able to be undertaken as of May 18th. As such, Swim Ireland is consulting health services organizations on the potential impact of COVID-19 on open water swimming and has included its guidelines within a specific open water framework to be published tomorrow.
As for pool swimming, Swim Ireland‘s member letter states, “We are robustly pursuing an imminent return for this cohort but at this juncture, we do not have a definitive date for this to occur.
“We are working closely with Ireland Active (who represent the leisure industry in the south) in relation to the framework within which swimming pools are likely to re-open and clarification is being sought on the re-opening of swimming pools and indoor sport in relation to phases three and four of the Government of Ireland Roadmap (whilst endeavouring to align this with the Northern Ireland Executive’s equivalent). Consultation will also take place with relevant Northern Ireland governmental departments in a similar regard.”
Performance Swimming & Diving located at National Aquatic Centre & Bangor Aurora have a soft return date of May 18th for Olympic and Paralympic sole use, according to the disciplines’ specific framework seen below. The University of Limerick falls into the next rollout slated for June 8th, followed by ‘behind closed doors’ club swimming coming back on June 29th.
Swim Ireland notes that this plan is in step with the Government of Ireland/Northern Ireland Executive and may differ either side of the Irish border from time to time. Additionally, the rollout plan is subject to agreement with UK government.
At the time of publishing, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Center indicates Ireland has 23,956 reported cases of coronavirus, resulting in 1,518 deaths.