Mid and East Antrim swimming pools reopening update

Swimming pools in Mid and East Antrim will reopen to the public on Monday, October 5.

Friday, 2nd October 2020, 2:42 pm
Larne Leisure Centre.

Currently, the pools are available only to local swimming clubs. Read here

Swimming pools in the borough have been closed to other users since the start of lockdown in March due to the Covid pandemic.

Mid and East Antrim members and non-members must now book their swim in advance and everyone is asked to use the sanitising stations when entering and leaving the centres in Larne, Carrickfergus and Ballymena.

Swimmers are asked to arrive “pool ready” after showering and wearing their swimming gear under their clothes to help ensure social distancing in changing rooms.

A lane system will be operation in the pools with double-width lanes to accommodate up to seven patrons per lane at any one time which are designated for fast, medium and slow swimmers.

Swimmers will be asked to stay in their lane and not to overtake.

There will also be open sessions to allow families to swim together.

In a bid to reassure customers, the council says: “All pools will use chlorine disinfectant that complies with government regulations and is proven to disinfect pathogens including Covid-19.”

Commenting on the reopening, Mid and East Antrim Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston said: “I am delighted to see yet another positive step back towards normality for us all as we continue to adapt to the ongoing challenges presented by Covid.

“Our leisure facilities are hugely popular. It is great to see our pools reopening and ready to welcome swimmers back in.

“I would remind everyone to ensure they use the booking system and follow the new guidance when using these facilities to ensure their safety and that of everyone else using them.

“Preparations are ongoing to facilitate the return of swimming lessons and other associated pool bookings. Further details on these will follow in due course.”

Fitness suites and classes at the borough’s leisure centre reopened last month.

A delay in the reopening of swimming pools in Mid and East Antrim meant that Olympic hopefuls have had to travel to Bangor to train.

The NI Executive permitted the reopening of leisure centres in July but the doors at facilities in Mid and East Antrim remained shut.

An Alliance proposal to reopen the borough’s pools to all users from September was defeated.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.

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