Coronavirus: Isle of Man swimming pools reopen – BBC News

Swimming pools on the Isle of Man have reopened for the first time in three months after closing due to Covid-19.

The four regional facilities, including the National Sport Centre’s (NSC) main pool, were given the green light on 18 June but could not open until this week due to preparatory works.

National swimming coach Lee Holland said athletes were “excited” to return to the water after 14 weeks.

There have been no new coronavirus cases on the island for 40 days.

Mr Holland said younger swimmers had been learning how to “converse with one another” again after months of lockdown measures and he was “glad to see them taking time to spend with their team”.

While swimming competitions have been stopped until 2021, he hoped the island’s athletes would get permission from the Swim England Competition panel to race in September, he added.

The leisure pool at the NSC has not opened and will remain closed until further notice due to a lengthy delay in a project to renovate the facility.

Sport minister Alex Allinson welcomed the reopening of swimming pools and said it was important to recognise both the benefits of exercise and “the power of play”.

“Opening up our sports facilities is also important for the summer holiday activities we offer for children from the end of this school term over the entire course of the summer.”

On 15 June, the Isle of Man became the first place in the British Isles to scrap social distancing and lockdown restrictions as the government confirmed a “local elimination” of the virus.

Since then, Manx residents have been able to visit pubs, restaurants, shops and gyms and children allowed to return to school for the first time since March.

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