Eight of the Vancouver Park Board’s (VPB) nine indoor pools are scheduled to open by early fall.
The Park Board made the announcement on Friday, saying that they’ll open through a phased approach for community and swim club use.
Hillcrest, Kerrisdale, Britannia, and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre are aiming to reopen on September 14. Killarney, Templeton, Lord Byng, and Renfrew will follow, with a targeted opening date of October 13.
The Kensington Pool will not be reopening at this time due to its size, which the VPB says “is too small to safely accommodate the physical distancing required.”
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The Park Board also notes that timelines could be adjusted slightly due to “operational and maintenance requirements.”
“The reopening of our indoor pools marks a huge milestone for the Park Board’s pandemic recovery plan,” says Camil Dumont, Chair of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. “While it would be amazing to be able to open all eight pools at once, it’s not possible from a facilities and maintenance perspective, as it’s a huge operational lift.”
The indoor pools will be used for designated lap and public swimming sessions, as well as training sessions for sports programs.
Naturally, a number of health and safety measures are being planned for the reopening. There will be a buffer between swim periods to allow for sanitization and prep. The maximum number of users has also been reduced to allow for additional physical distancing.
Lifeguards will also wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while on duty. Admission will be managed through an online reservation system, with some space reserved for in-person drop-ins.