More libraries, pools and venues to reopen

Auckland Council will reopen the remainder of its libraries and most of its pools across the Auckland region from this week .

The reopening, along with the phased reopening of many community venues over the coming month, will come as welcome news to book lovers, keen swimmers and those who use the council’s arts and community venues for a raft of activities, including recreation, education and celebration.

Pools across Auckland opening on Wednesday June 3 include Lloyd Elsmore Pool and Leisure Centre.

Community venues for hire opening from Tuesday June 2 include Clevedon Community Hall and Fencible Lounge.

“Our venues for hire teams are working closely with Local Boards and other users of our venues for hire to best adapt and meet the needs of our community,” a spokesperson for council said.

Mayor Phil Goff welcomed the reopening. “It’s great to see more of Auckland’s libraries, pools and community venues reopening after the lockdown and a sense of normality starting to return to the city,” he says.

“There will be strict guidelines around physical distancing and hygiene while enjoying council venues to lessen the risk of future community transmission of Covid-19.”

Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town says the council has worked hard to reopen its pools responsibly and safely in an environment where water restrictions are in place and health and safety remains a top priority.

“This is a fine balance,” says Town. “Our communities love our pools and we have partners and user groups who rely on our facilities to be open so that they can continue to operate their own organisations and businesses.

Town says the council is ensuring pools can reopen for exercise while also playing its part to help Auckland’s water conservation efforts.

“This means that when people do go to one of our pools, they will see some changes. Firstly, we will only be opening lap and dive pools for training and exercise, and those pools designed for leisure and play will remain closed, as will the showers in our changing rooms.”

There will also be some changes to opening hours and people will need to continue to maintain safe social distancing, even while in the water.

“We’re also asking Aucklanders to help us in our water saving efforts by wearing appropriate swim wear, including swim caps, and, where possible, not wearing outdoor footwear poolside,” said Town.

“This will help improve the water quality and reduce the need for poolside areas to be washed down.”

He said the council will continue to keep a close eye on Auckland’s water situation and will adapt and respond accordingly.

Libraries to open from 2 June

Meanwhile, from Tuesday, June 2, all of the 55 libraries in Auckland Council’s network will be open to the public.

“We know people love our libraries and have been very keen to see all of them reopened under Alert Level 2, so we know this will be welcome news for communities right throughout the Auckland region,” said Town.

“In addition, we’re opening a second phase of 11 community venues for hire from Tuesday June 2.

“This brings the total number of council-run venues reopened to 33 with over 100 additional community partner venues also open across Auckland. More council-run venues will be reopened each week between now and July.”

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