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Elizabeth asked: “Will indoor and/or outdoor pools re open this summer? What is the protocol? Many people rely on pools for rehab and for fitness. Thanks, really looking forward to being able to swim again.”
B.C. has listed recreation centres reopening as part of the second phase of its Restart Plan, which started in mid-May and is ongoing.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has also released a list of measures it recommends recreation centres take to keep people safe, including increased cleaning, providing more space for people, supporting low-contact sports, stocking bathrooms with soap and screening both staff and guests for symptoms of COVID-19.
But both indoor and outdoor pools remain closed across the Lower Mainland.
None of the Metro Vancouver municipalities that responded to inquiries from NEWS 1130 on Tuesday had a concrete date set for reopening.
Vancouver: The Vancouver Park board plans to reopen its outdoor and indoor pools, as well as deploying lifeguards to its bathing beaches, in phases but there is no firm timeline, spokesperson Christine Ulmer said in an email. Vancouver’s beaches will likely be the first to reopen because “the generous amount of outdoor space at our beaches makes appropriate physical distancing possible, as well as there are no high touch surfaces, and fewer considerations as compared to outdoor pools or indoor pools.”
Surrey: As of Tuesday, the Surrey’s pools – along with its ice rinks, culture facilities, nature centre, community rooms and libraries – remained closed with “no date for reopening” set, according to a notice on the city’s website.
Burnaby: City staff are currently working on a detailed plan for restarting many services, including recreation facilities. “We expect to share this plan publicly in the next week or two,” said spokesperson Chris Bryan in an email.
Richmond: The city has developed a five-step plan to restore city services. The third step includes reopening outdoor pools, followed by indoor pools in Step 4. The city is still in Step 1 and there’s “no timeline for moving beyond that right now, spokesperson Clay Adams said Tuesday. “We continue to monitor how users and the community are adhering to the rules for use and to see if the restoration of services results in an increase of COVID-19 cases in Richmond,” he said. “We will move to Step 2 only when we feel it is safe and appropriate to do so.”
City of Langley: The city is planning to reopen Al Anderson Memorial Pool (which is outdoors) at the end of June or beginning of July, director of recreation Kimberlee Hilton said. We are currently working through our pool safety plan including protocols for COVID-19. “Once we have the required procedures in place, staff trained and the approval from our health authority, we will be able to finalize the opening date.”
North Vancouver: The North Vancouver Recreation and Culture Commission, which manages recreation centres for both the city and district, has reopened some of its outdoor recreation facilities but currently has no set timelines for when pools will open once more, spokesperson Anne Rodgers said. The commission is following guidelines from WorkSafeBC, the B.C. Parks and Recreation Commission, and public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, she said. “We understand that our community really wants, needs and appreciates our services.”
Port Coquitlam: “We are in the process of finalizing our plans and hope to have an update by the end of this week,” spokesperson Pardeep Purewal said Tuesday.
West Vancouver: The municipality is gradually resuming some of its services this month, starting with programs that can be done in small groups outside, spokesperson Donna Powers said in an email. The city’s aquatic centre remains closed, Powers said, without providing details for when it might reopen.
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