Covid Safe Reopening of Outdoor Pools

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


The original motion moved by Councillor Scott, seconded by Councillor Vithoulkas.

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         on 19 September 2021 the NSW Premier announced an amendment to the public health order to allow the reopening of public pools with a COVID safe plan from 27 September 2021;

(ii)        on 9 September 2021 the NSW Government released their “Reopening NSW Roadmap”, the plan to lift lockdown restrictions for fully vaccinated people the Monday after NSW reaches 70 per cent of eligible residents fully vaccinated;

(iii)      the NSW Government’s Reopening NSW Roadmap allows for the reopening of gyms, indoor recreation centres and sporting facilities once the 70 per cent full vaccination target is met;

(iv)      the Reopening NSW Roadmap leaves in place restrictions including density limits of one person per four square metres indoors and mandatory masks indoors which will need to be accommodated by reopening venues and facilities;

(v)       on 14 September 2021 the NSW Government announced an amendment to the Public Health Order to allow libraries to open for click and collect services;

(vi)      Inner West libraries have reopened providing click and collect services;

(vii)     Public Health Orders currently allow for beaches and natural pools to remain open but order all other pools to be closed;

(viii)    currently, natural swimming pools including Wylie's Baths in the Randwick Local Government Area and Dawn Fraser Baths in the Inner West Local Government Area are open to the public;

(ix)      there are four outdoor swimming pools in the City of Sydney: Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, Victoria Park Pool, Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre and Prince Alfred Park Pool;

(x)       the estimated gross total costs to the City of opening four outdoor pools for lap swimming only would be $119,688 per week with a net total cost of $86,374;

(xi)      that Dawn Fraser Baths operates more similarly to an outdoor public pool than a beach having a reception area, toilets, change rooms and showers, all features common in outdoor public pools but often not seen at beaches;

(xii)     Public Health Orders do not allow City of Sydney residents living in suburbs including Erskineville, Rosebery, Beaconsfield, Green Square and Alexandria who live greater than five kilometres from the ocean and/or recently reopened Dawn Fraser Baths to swim for their daily exercise during lockdown;

(xiii)    Dawn Fraser Baths located in the Inner West Local Government Area reopened to the public on 8 September 2021. The baths have been divided into lanes to accommodate for physical distancing with a maximum of two swimmers per lane. Toilets are open but changing rooms and showers are closed and sun bathing is not allowed. Those who live in the Inner West Local Government Area or within five kilometres of the baths can book a one-hour session online;

(xiv)    Dawn Fraser Baths will be open free of charge from 7am to 5pm, seven days per week for at least the first two weeks of their reopening; and

(xv)     bookings for Dawn Fraser Baths open three days in advance, and they have been fully booked since reopening; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to: 

(i)         investigate how the City will implement a reopening plan for City spaces and services, including pools, recreation centres, libraries, gyms and aquatic centres, to safely reopen in line with NSW Government Health Orders; and

(ii)        report back to Council regularly via the CEO Update on the investigations and actions.

The amended motion was carried unanimously.



Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 20/09/2021

Date of decision: 20/09/2021

Decided at meeting: 20/09/2021 - Council

Accompanying Documents: