The Vancouver Park Board (VPB) said plans are still in the works to open the city’s outdoor pools by the May long weekend.
“Currently, the plan is to open outdoor pools on the May long weekend,” a VPB spokesperson told Daily Hive on Wednesday.
However, what the exact format/operation/program will be for the opening “is still yet to be decided,” as everything will be based on COVID-19 regulations and Public Health Orders, the spokesperson said.
In the meantime, a GM Report to Commissioners presented last month said that park staff are “busy planning for the resumption of a full operational season for outdoor pools” and beaches this summer.
“We will start with following the same COVID-19 protocols as last year, with the hope that as restrictions ease throughout the summer, outdoor pool capacities may be increased under a phased approach,” the report said.
Defined swim sessions with separate registrations for length and public swimming will also resume, and the return of limited aquafit and swim lesson sessions is also in development.
The report noted the anticipated season opening date for the pools is May 22, 2021.
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Last year, a number of COVID-19 protocols were implemented to ensure safety for visitors and staff at the pools.
These measures included wider lanes for length swimming, and lifeguards wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while on duty.
Visitors were required to arrive at the pools ready to swim, as change rooms were closed.
Swimmers could book blocks between 45 and 90 minutes. A 30-minute buffer was in place between all appointments in order to sanitize facilities and to prepare for the next group.
Admission to pools was managed through online reservations and in-person drop-ins, and all pools reopened with reduced capacity. Snorkels and kickboards were not permitted.