SINGAPORE – Although ActiveSG swimming complexes reopened on June 19 as part of phase 2 of Singapore’s post-circuit breaker measures, Joycelyn Ho rarely returned to Jurong East swimming complex because of rules that allowed the general public access to lap pools only from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.
The 20-year-old Republic Polytechnic student found it “inconvenient” to visit the pool then because she would usually be rushing through assignments in the evening.
But on Wednesday (July 15), ActiveSG informed its members that lap swimmers would be able to visit its swimming complexes on weekdays from 9am to noon from Thursday, as part of its revised swimming pool slots “to better meet the needs of (the) community”.
Ho welcomed the news, saying: “It’s great that we are allowed to use the pool in the day now. Previously, when we were allowed to enter the pool only in the evening, it was really inconvenient for me.
“With the day slots, it gives me an opportunity to get a quick swim in before the day starts.”
Another pool user Tey Shou Hern, who goes to Serangoon swimming complex once or twice a week, felt that having more time slots available to the public would help to reduce the number of people present at any given time.
The 22-year-old said: “It could also help to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 even further. Bookings for the different time slots would not always reach maximum capacity and people that would want to swim last minute could also get a chance to use the pool.”
The revised hours apply to the 20 ActiveSG swimming complexes that are currently in operation. The operating hours at Our Tampines Hub, Sengkang, Yio Chu Kang, Jurong Lake and Kallang Basin swimming pools, which had been extended till 12.30am to cater to public lap swimmers previously, will now close at 11pm “due to the low utilisation”.
Lap swimming for seniors will remain from 6.30am to 8.45am.
Those who want to use the pools are still required to make bookings through the ActiveSG app or website.
From Thursday, ActiveSG members can also purchase MyActiveGym, MyActiveSwim and Merdeka Generation Schemes or Passes.
Members who are on existing packages will be allowed to continue using the passes.
Country clubs have also adopted strict measures to limit the number of people at pools.
Apart from restricting the number of people allowed into the pool to 50 and adhering to safe entry procedures and temperature taking, Keppel Club has encouraged swimmers to put on their swimming attire before arriving since it reopened its pool on July 6.
It has also implemented a queue system for both changing rooms.
While there are no specific time slots for different groups of people, the club has reserved three of its eight lanes for swimming lessons.
Deputy sports manager Raziman Rahman, 41, said: “Members have been co-operative and understand the situation and why the club is implementing all the safe measures.”
Singapore Island Country Club has closed its 50m pool and limited access to the children’s play pool to the weekends. Its 25m pool is the only one that is open for general swimming and squad training throughout the week.
Other measures that are in place include the banning of gatherings at pool walls.
Condominiums have also taken steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Hillview Regency limited the number of people allowed into its main swimming pool to 30, while another condominium, Cashew Heights, cleans its pool twice a week now.
To ensure that the number of people in a pool remains manageable, some condominium management teams have informed their security guards to be on the lookout to prevent overcrowding.
But even with these precautions in place, there are some who still have reservations about returning to the pool.
Olivia Chew has not gone to the pool in her condominium since the coronavirus struck.
The 24-year-old said: “I have stayed away from the pool because there are more people who use it now. Perhaps working and studying from home has freed up more time.
“I know that the management cleans it regularly and the chlorine in the pool is a disinfectant but I just generally prefer to avoid crowded spaces, and would choose to use it when there are fewer people.”