Swimming lessons resume Aug. 24 at Gordon Head Recreation Centre in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich asks users to be swimsuit ready at the door as lessons resume with new safety protocols

Swim classes start Aug. 24 at Gordon Head Recreation Centre

Grab a pair of water wings and get ready to make a splash at the Gordon Head Recreation Centre – swimming lessons resume Aug. 24.

In late June, Saanich began reopening recreation centres – they closed on March 17 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – with new safety protocols.

The protocol for swimming lessons has also changed. Swimmers must practise mandatory social distancing and stay home if they feel sick or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Swimmers must pre-register for lessons and arrive at the front door no more than 15 minutes early, already in their swimsuits. Due to reduced occupancy limits, a time limit has been implemented for change room use prior to entering the pool; swimmers are asked to wash hands and have a quick shower before using the pool. Lockers are not available during lessons so swimmers are advised to pack light and use an on-deck cubby.

Lessons also look a little bit different. Instructors will teach from the pool deck – with the exception of in-pool demonstrations – classes are 30 minutes and group sizes are either reduced or allocated larger pool space. While in the pool, masks that cover their nose and mouth won’t be permitted and swimmers will be asked not to spit or blow bubbles in the pool.

Each swimmer is permitted one person over the age of 16 accompany them into the pool area and, as part of a new Swim With Me program implemented to help instructors and keep swimmers safe, one adult is required to be in the pool with each Swim Preschool and Swim Kids 1-4 participant. The adult must to be in the water in a swimsuit for the entire lesson.

Change rooms and showers will not be open at the end of the lessons and water fountains won’t be open for use but toilets will be accessible.

For more information on Saanich’s new swim lesson protocols, visit saanich.ca.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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