Swimmers lap up reopening of outdoor pools
Hardy Melburnians are dusting off their goggles and donning their bathers as outdoor public pools reopen for the first time in months.
The easing of restrictions on outdoor pools, as well as outdoor exercise for up to two people with a trainer, came into effect on Monday – along with the lifting of the citywide curfew – under step two of the Andrews government's road map for emerging from lockdown.
Gavin Moore savoured his first swim in months at Fitzroy Pool on Monday. Credit:Chris Hopkins
Fitzroy Swimming Pool in Melbourne's inner north was one of the first outdoor swimming centres in the city to open to patrons on Monday morning, allowing a maximum of 20 swimmers at any one time to take to the water for pre-booked hourly sessions. Lanes are already booked out until Thursday.
Collingwood resident and regular Fitzroy swimmer Gavin Moore, 60, said it was fabulous to be back in the sun and swimming laps.
"It's liberating really," Mr Moore said.
"Fitzroy pool is just the best place and with the sun out it was a great day to be swimming.
"[It means] everything to get out."
The reopening sees activities limited to lap swimming, water exercise and rehabilitation and does not include access to change rooms, lockers or other amenities.
Pool goers need to adhere to 1.5 metre social distancing regulations when attending the centre and are required to wear a mask before and after swimming.
Mr Moore said he was happy to continue wearing his mask and was pleased to see staff members disinfecting surfaces throughout his session.
"I honestly prefer it because you feel safe when other people are wearing [a mask] too," he said.
"[The staff] are doing all the right things 100 per cent."
Mr Moore is not the only one making his way down to the Yarra Leisure centre.
Since opening its doors at 6am, all 14 daily sessions from Monday through to Thursday have been fully booked at Yarra Council's leisure centres, amounting to more than 800 bookings for the Fitzroy centre alone.
While open air pools have been allowed to open, other outdoor facilities such as bowls clubs, tennis courts and golf courses remain closed under the second step of reopening.
Melburnians are allowed to exercise within a 5-kilometre radius of their home or their workplace, but cannot book to swim at an outdoor pool outside those limits.
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