By ESTHER MACINTYRE

SWIMMERS are lapping up being back in the pool at Mildura Waves leisure centre since restrictions eased to allow gyms and indoor pools to re-open.

The 25-metre indoor pool is now open for one hour bookings with maximum 20 people at a time, and business is booming.

Manager, Caitlin Simmons, said it had been a very exciting time.

“It was chaotic initially when the announcement was first made to reopen gyms and indoor pools, because it certainly came earlier than we anticipated,” Ms Simmons said.

“The great thing was all the team were really well prepared for an announcement as soon as it was made, which meant we could open without delay on the Wednesday, and since then it’s just been a hive of activity, as you’ve seen this morning.

“It’s been a really rewarding time, for all the effort that the team have put in to finally be able to welcome customers back in, it’s just been fantastic.”

Swimmers have even more freedom to move in the outdoor pools, which have softer restrictions.

“For outdoor pools it’s currently a capacity limit of 50 people in the water, per pool,” Ms Simmons said.

“So some of our pools that have multiple pools like Merbein for example, can have 50 in the main pool, 50 in the middle pool and then it’s just the density quota – an extra 200 people for the surrounding areas.

“Because of how large our pool yards are we can do that with safe social distancing still in place.”

The system was working well, providing everyone keeps following the rules, she said.

“Obviously all of your standard stuff still applies at all of our facilities, so contact tracing, face masks, hygiene stations, all of that,” she said.

“For our indoor pools it is still restricted to only 20 people per pool which has meant for the time being we have the 25-metre pool open but it’s with one hour booking sessions only and that’s just to help us manage the capacity limit because it is so small.

“And our wave pool is temporarily remaining closed, just until there’s further easing of restrictions, because we’re predominantly using that for our swim school program, so that we can have more access in the 25-metre pool for people to swim.”