Thursday, April 25, 2024

Dawn Fraser Baths back in the swim

Sydney’s Inner West Council will open the newly refurbished Dawn Fraser Baths to the public next Wednesday following the issuing of a public health order specifically allowing the historic harbourside pool to reopen during the current COVID-19 lockdown.

Inner West Mayor, Darcy Byrne said the whole of the Inner West population would be able to swim at the baths after being cut off from open water swimming in recent weeks due to the 5km restriction on travel.

“Being able to swim and enjoy Australia’s oldest and most beautiful harbourside pool will really lift the spirts of local people,” said Mayor Byrne.

“With beaches having been cut off and public pools closed many regular swimmers had lost their most important source of physical exercise and mental relief, right at the time that they needed it most.

“We will open the doors of the Baths on Wednesday September 8 and everyone in the Inner West will be able book in for a COVID-safe swim for an hour at a time. Being able to swim in the ocean will be a massive boost to local morale and mental health that will help our community to get through the long days of lockdown.”

He said NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard had personally intervened in response to Council’s request to open Dawny’s.

“The Member for Summer Hill, Jo Haylen, also approach the Minister directly, and on behalf of the Inner West I thank them both sincerely.”

“Having recently completed a once in a generation heritage refurbishment of the Baths I can’t wait for people to see for themselves how beautiful the restoration is. Entry for the first two weeks will be free and Dawny’s will be an oasis for our community for the duration of the lockdown,” said Mayor Byrne.

Swimming at the Baths will be enabled by strict adherence to a COVID-safety plan including:

• All swimming being by appointment only with bookings to open on Monday morning through Council’s website;
• No access to changerooms, toilets, showers or sunbaking;
• Patrons will be required to begin their swim upon entry and leave immediately afterwards;
• The pool will be divided into lanes to ensure safe physical distancing and the beach area will also be segregated for limited use.

Total attendance at the The Baths will be limited to 26 patrons at any one time.

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