Queensland

GREAT NEWS!!! – QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT ENDORSED RE-OPENING PLAN

 

The newly formed QAIA, Queensland Aquatic Industry Alliance (which includes Swimming Queensland and ASCTA) has successfully completed discussions with the Queensland Government to create an Industry COVID Safe Work Plan.

 

The Queensland Government website has been updated with all relevant documents.

 

What does this mean for you?

 

If you’re operating a venue:

 

Under this Industry COVID Safe Work Plan, Swimming Pool & Aquatic Centres may open with significantly improved operating arrangements provided they:

  1. Opt into the “Swimming Pool & Aquatic Centre Industry COVIDSafe Plan”
  2. Review and tick off the “COVIDSafe Industry Checklist”
  3. Implement all relevant measures and keep the completed plan available on site
  4. Sign and display the “Statement of Compliance”

 

Please note, opt in is not mandatory.  If venues do not opt in, they may still open, but with significantly more restrictions, as per Queensland Health Directive.

 

Some venues may choose to remain closed at this time.

 

If you’re a coach / club accessing a venue:

 

If your venue has opted into the “Swimming Pool & Aquatic Centre Industry COVIDSafe Plan” then the eased restrictions are in effect.

 

If your venue has not opted in, they may choose to remain closed, or open under significantly more restrictions, as per Queensland Health Directive.  

 

Some key points from the “Swimming Pool & Aquatic Centre Industry COVIDSafe Plan”:

 

  • Venue with multiple pools/spaces - if a site has more than one pool and/or dedicated space, each pool/space should be defined by the operator and capacity limits and control measures to ensure compliance/risk mitigation for each area. Buffer zones should be in place between dedicated spaces and/or groups of 20.
  • Hygiene, cleaning and social distancing requirements are outlined clearly in the checklist within the plan.
  • Contact information must be kept for customers (this includes children swimming and parents who are bringing their children for their lessons), workers and any contractors for a period of at least 56 days.
  • If the pool is indoor the total capacity of the pool and any spectators or other groups needs to managed within the 1:4 metre squared. 
  • The plan distinguishes between 17 years and under (school age or younger patrons) and 18 years and over (adult patrons) and different restrictions apply to these two groups:
    • Patrons of school age or younger which use swimming pools and accompanying facilities for training, education and general use purposes may do so:
      • without a limit on the number of swimmers per lane or per pool. 
      • in a class with a teacher delivering instruction based on swimming ability. Swimming lessons require children being in a potentially dangerous environment (water), therefore requires a necessary ‘hands-on’ component of teaching by qualified swim teachers. As such, parameters around social distancing will not always be practical for in-water swimming lessons.
      • with a buffer zone enforced between areas with children and adults to avoid contact or mingling between groups whilst swimming.
      • with segregation between groups where squads have a mixture of school age and adult patrons.  These squads will need to be separated so that swimmers who are 18 years or older are not swimming in the same squad as school age and younger children.
    • Adult patrons have the following restrictions:
      • Indoor and outdoor pools have a capacity limited to a maximum of 1 person per 10 square metres of water surface area.
      • Booking/Allocation systems will be in place to record details of patrons.
      • All indoor areas have a capacity limited to a maximum of 1 person per 4 square metres of indoor space.
      • Outdoor open area space is limited to groups of 20 people for outdoor sporting-based activities, with no more than one person per 4 square metres and social distancing enforced.
      • Group management with all groups limited to 20 people, as well as venue capacity limits and social distancing observed between groups.
      • Buffer zones enforced between areas with children and adults to avoid contact or mingling between groups whilst swimming.
      • Capacity limits refer to patron numbers in each pool or space. Appropriate staffing will be in place to ensure the safety of patrons is in line with Royal Lifesaving Australia Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations

 

This plan was written to enable maximum flexibility for swimming programs and operators given the diversity of venue configurations and patrons. 

 

For example:

 

If all patrons are school age or younger there is no limit on number per pool or lane.

 

If all patrons are adults, the venue will calculate the capacity per pool. For example, a 25m pool with 6 lanes, 1.5m wide = 225m2. This means the capacity is 22 adult patrons.  In addition, the maximum group size is 20.  This means, if your pool capacity is more than 20 adult patrons, they must be split into different groups for contact tracing purposes and practice social distancing when static (i.e. different ends of the pool or lining up on the lane rope) with a buffer zone enforced between groups.

 

If there is a mix of school age or younger and adult patrons in the same pool, a buffer zone of 1.5m (e.g. spare lane) must be enforced between groups.  The venue will determine the capacity according to the space allocated for adult patrons.  In addition, the max group size for adults is 20.  This means, if your pool size caters for more than 20 adult patrons, they must be split into different groups for contact tracing purposes and practice social distancing when static (i.e. different ends of the pool, lining up on the lane rope etc.).

 

 

Pool configuration practical examples:

 

  • Pool size is 25 m with 8 x 1.5m wide lanes
    • Lanes 1-4 school age or younger swimming with no restriction on number per lane or group size
    • Lane 5 is a buffer zone
    • Lanes 6-8 adult patrons swimming, restricted to 11 patrons

 

  • Pool size is 50m with 10 x 1.5m wide lanes and no bulkhead in place
    • Lanes 1-4 school age or younger swimming with no restriction on number per lane or group size
    • Lane 5 is a buffer zone
    • Lanes 6-10 adult patrons swimming, restricted to a max of 37 patrons.  This means, these 37 must be split into 2 groups for contact tracing purposes and practice social distancing when static (i.e. different ends of the pool, lining up on the lane rope etc.).

 

  • Pool size 50m with 10 x 1.5m wide lanes with a bulkhead to split into 2 x 25m pools
    • End 1
      • Lanes 1-10 school age or younger swimming with no restriction on number per lane or group size
    • End 2
      • Lanes 1-10 adult patrons swimming, restricted to a max of 37 patrons. This means, the 37 must be split into 2 groups for contact tracing purposes and practice social distancing when static (i.e. different ends of the pool, lining up on the lane rope etc.) with a buffer zone enforced between groups. This may be achieved with an empty lane between the 2 groups.

 

The Queensland Aquatic Industry Alliance will be issuing an FAQ with more detail and scenarios. This will be on our website once available.

 

Of further note, the Aquatic Sport Sector Industry CovidSafe Plan has been approved.  For swimming, it aligns to the Swimming Pool & Aquatic Centre Industry COVIDSafe Plan mentioned above.

 

Swimming Queensland and ASCTA will be running info sessions next week for coaches and clubs to ask any questions. Please register your interest in attending via this form:

Monday, 8 June 11:00AM-12:00PM

Monday, 8 June 4:00PM-5:00PM

Tuesday, 9 June 9:30AM-10:30AM

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