COVID, News

Supervised pools at Helensburgh, Thirroul and Corrimal to open this long-weekend

SUPERVISED outdoor pools at Helensburgh, Thirroul and Corrimal will reopen on Saturday, October 2, 2021.

Lifeguards will be on duty at all of Wollongong City Council’s eight outdoor pools, including the Continental at Wollongong. Council’s nine ocean rock pools are not supervised by lifeguards and remain open.

Poolgoers will need to book ahead through Council’s website, by calling Customer Service on 4227 7111 between 8.30am-5pm weekdays or by calling 0447 789 493 on weekends to reserve a time for their swim. They will need to follow all the Public Health Order when they’re in attendance.

There is a limit of three people per booking, including no more than two adults. Children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult over 16 years of age.

“I know many in our community will be pleased to hear we’re reopening our pools and it is good news for those wanting to swim laps as part of their regular exercise routines,’’ Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

 “It’s a positive step and it feels like we’re a little closer to the ‘normal’ life many of us are craving. However, I want to be clear, it’s our expectation that everyone who visits the pools will follow the Public Health Order by wearing a mask as they’re entering and moving about the pool grounds, checking in using the QR code and, once they’ve enjoyed a swim, leaving the pool deck and not hanging around. We continue to see large numbers of COVID cases in our local government area, and this isn’t a time to be complacent.’’

Council’s online pool booking system is operational with swimmers able to book a 45-minute timeslot up to a week in advance. All sessions will start on the hour from 6am and visitors will have 45 minutes in the pool grounds.

The 15-minute window between sessions will allow patrons to enter and exit safely and provide an opportunity for regular for contact point cleaning. Toilets will be open but, inline with NSW Government’s approved COVID-safe plan, all indoor change rooms and showers will be closed.

Council will continue to review the pools’ COVID-safe plans and will update and adapt our plans as required in response to our community’s needs, and as NSW reaches the 70 per cent and 80 per cent vaccination rates, and the December 1, 2021 milestone.

“I ask the community to do the right thing when they’re visiting our pools and to stick to the requirements of the Public Health Order,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“We know the rules – wear your mask when you’re not exercising, check in using QR codes, keep your social distance from others and if you’re sick, get tested and stay home. At this stage, vaccination is not a condition of entry, but booking your swim is.

“We need to continue to do the right thing to protect our community. We have active cases here in Wollongong and we’re seeing increasing numbers which is concerning for all of us.

‘’Council has flexible plans in place to support the operations of our pools over summer. However, it’s important we all do the right thing so that we can keep our pools open and enjoy these terrific facilities.’’

The essential information:

  • Council’s eight outdoor pools will open from 6am on Saturday 2 October. This includes the Continental, Port Kembla and Thirroul Ocean Pools, as well as Helensburgh, Corrimal, Western Suburbs, Berkeley and Dapto pools. Unsupervised ocean rock pools have remain open.
  • Bookings are essential through Council’s website (search wollongong.nsw.gov.au/pools) by calling Customer Service on 4227 7111 between 8.30am-5pm weekdays or by calling 0447 789 493 on weekends. You may book for up to two adults, or one adult and two children through a single 45-minute booking.
  • Pools will open from 6am with bookings to start on the hour and run for 45 minutes.
  • Pools will be available for lap and recreational swimming. Sun lounging will not be permitted.
  • You will be required to check-in using the QR code to outdoor pools.
  • Follow the 1.5m social distancing guidelines.
  • Come showered and dress ready for your swim.
  • Enjoy your swim, and then go. No socialising around the pool.
  • Wear a mask unless exercising.
  • Toilets will be open, but indoor change rooms and shower facilities will be closed.
  • Each pool has a maximum capacity, in line with the Public Health Order requirements, and bookings will not be accepted once the pools reach this number.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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