You will be aware that, as from 19th July, the government have officially lifted the legal restrictions put in place with respect to the Covid pandemic.
In the light of this, the Trustees held a meeting to discuss whether we should consider any changes to the way the pool has operated since the Covid restrictions were put in place. Whilst we know that quite a lot of the membership like the new booking systems and lanes, for a variety of reasons we well understand that it does not suit everyone.
At present Covid cases are rising at a high rate, which is why the government is recommending that people take a cautious and responsible approach to the relaxation in restrictions. The national governing body for swimming – Swim England/The Institute for Swimming- is advising that they “would encourage all pool users to continue to be careful and to respect other people's space". Furthermore the Trustees owe a duty of care to keep safe not only the members, but also the volunteers who help run the pool.
Taking all this into account in the light of the rapidly increasing rise in Covid cases, the Trustees do not feel it would be prudent to allow sessions of "free swimming" at this time, as there would be no way of controlling the numbers of people within the pool area which would make it difficult maintain any social distancing. We have therefore decided that the most sensible and straightforward thing to do is to retain the existing lanes and booking system for the remainder of the season. A review will take place later in the year as to how best the pool will operate for next season when, hopefully, the number of Covid cases will be much lower.
In the meantime, given the current high demand for booking swimming slots, we would remind members that if, after booking a lane you find you cannot use it, please cancel the booking via the website as soon as you can. This will allow another member to book it.
The Trustees are pleased to advise that it will no longer be necessary to come to the pool showered and changed. The changing rooms may be used both before and after swimming and swimmers are encouraged to use the shower prior to entering the pool. The tables and seating will be put back so spectators will be able to use them. We still ask that once swimmers have changed after their swim, that they then leave the pool area in order that this does not become overcrowded.
We hope that members will understand and support the reasoning behind the decisions made by the Trustees and that everyone will continue to show respect and courtesy to all users of the pool for the remainder of the season.
Health & Safety Manager
The following email was sent to the membership:
Following the Government’s confirmation that swimming pools can reopen, we are pleased to advise that Shere Swimming Pool will be open for swimming from Thursday 1st April.
As with last season, in order that we can allow the pool to open we will continue to have additional rules on how the pool is to be used in order to ensure the safety of everyone who uses it. These rules are based on those recommended by Swim England as to how swimming pools should operate during the Covid-19 pandemic. The full set of rules is set out in the Membership Application form which you will all have read before signing. They can be found at https://sherepool.org.uk/club-rules/covid-19-rules/ and are also displayed at the pool.
Please remember that you have a responsibility to others as well as yourself to follow these rules. In particular please remember that persons experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or having to self-isolate must not enter the pool compound. Also, that swimmers should, whenever possible come to the pool showered and changed ready to swim – the changing rooms should only be used after you have had a swim.
It will still be necessary for members to book a timed 30 minute slot for their swim using the online booking system, which should be open by the time you receive this email. We ask that members only book one swim at a time to ensure that all members get a good chance to have a swim. Once you have had your first swim you will then be able to book another slot. It should normally be possible to make bookings up to a week ahead. We would like to encourage members to use all vacant slots so in addition this year we are planning to offer “Standby Bookings”. These are available on the day only if there are slots still available, and they can be made in addition to a booked swim. We reserve the right to withdraw this facility during peak periods to ensure that all members get an equal chance to get a swim.
The booking system can be found at https://sherepool.org.uk/book-a-swim/ As per last year, the booking process uses the numbers printed on your gate card as your identification, and it is a good idea to visit https://sherepool.org.uk/book-a-swim/check-my-card/ to ensure that we have your card details registered correctly. There are also a few other new features on the book-a-swim menu which we hope you will find useful.
If you do not have access to the Internet you will have to ask someone else to make a booking on your behalf.
Please remember, you must book your timed slot using the online booking system (3 lanes are available). Lane bookings are per household and only one lane can be booked per household at any one time. Guests are allowed only if they are from the same household or within the household’s “bubble”. The maximum number of people that can use a lane will be limited to six.
It is only by everyone following these rules that the swimming pool can remain open. Although members of the committee will look to carry out spot checks, it will not be possible to have people on site all the time to oversee that the rules are being adhered to. Members who deliberately flout the rules are liable to have their membership suspended with immediate effect. We therefore do ask that everyone follows the rules and that courtesy is shown to all other users as well as to the committee members and other volunteers who help run the pool. If you see anyone putting other members at risk, please make them aware of this if you feel comfortable to do so.
Please do not visit the pool unless you have booked a swim.
Over the course of the summer where there is any relaxation in Government guidance, we will look to remove restrictions where we can. In particular, we hope to have unrestricted swimming for some part of the day to enable the children of the villages to swim and play together.
Finally, we apologise if this email has landed in your Spam or Junk folder, however it is not easy to send an email to a large group of people at the same time as keeping everyone’s email address private.
Latest on the status of the pool upgrade and future plans are here.