Despite opposition from key organisations like Swim England, swimming pools have been closed again in Manchester, Merseyside, Wales and in other parts of the UK, as part of the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Government has stressed that discussions will be held with those areas moving into ‘tier three’ in the future before deciding what restrictions will be imposed. But an estimated one third of public pools are believed to have remained closed since the national lockdown in March while others are still struggling to fully recover.
“BEING ACTIVE IS PROVEN TO HELP PEOPLE’S MENTAL WELLBEING WHICH WILL BE CRUCIAL TO HELPING PEOPLE GET THROUGH ANOTHER LOCKDOWN” – Jane Nickerson of Swim England
Backed by leading sports personalities like Adam Peaty, Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson says it would be a short-sighted decision to suddenly close essential leisure centres and gyms in new local lockdowns. She points out that research has shown the prevalence of coronavirus in swimming pools is extremely low and they should not be forced to close under the new restrictions taken to tackle the pandemic. “We fully appreciate that action is needed to stop the spread of coronavirus but closing swimming pools, leisure centres and gyms is not the answer,” said Jane.
“Being active is proven to help people’s mental wellbeing which will be crucial to helping people get through another lockdown. “For those very reasons, it would be a short-sighted decision to close leisure centres in very high-risk areas. “Comprehensive research has shown that facilities have low-level prevalence of coronavirus and the safety measures put in place to ensure customers’ safety are working. “Therefore, it would be a case of kicking the sector when it is down by closing them down again and we would urge any area moving into the very high-risk status to seriously consider the science and facts before going down this route. “For so many people, aquatic activity is their only form of exercise. Denying them that opportunity in Covid-secure environments would be a travesty. “Yes, the spread of coronavirus is a nationwide concern but the mental and physical wellbeing of millions should not be simply brushed to one side and ignored.” Jane said the measures could put even more facilities at risk of permanent closure. “We have been shouting loud for months now to plead for the financial support that our industry desperately needs as facilities struggle to recover from four months of enforced closures and a reduction in the number of customers since being allowed to open,” said Jane. “Instead of closing pools and leisure centres again, the Government must see the bigger picture and step in to #SaveLeisure for the benefit of the nation.”
“THESE ARE THE ESSENTIAL FACILITIES THAT ARE NEEDED MORE THAN EVER BEFORE AS AN ACTIVE, FITTER POPULATION WILL BE BETTER EQUIPPED TO FIGHT AGAISNT THE VIRUS”- Jane Nickerson Of Swim England