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Since the First Minister’s announcement on August 20 bringing forward the date that some indoor sports activities can look to recommence, sport and health staff in the Outer Hebrides have been progressing the crucial elements that are required before any of the local facilities can reopen safely for customers and staff.
During lockdown, swimming pools across the Outer Hebrides have been looked after by staff on site to ensure that once the appropriate stage of the Scottish Government road map was reached that we would be able to return them to use as quickly as possible.
There are a number of technical issues that the Western Isles local authority must also adhere to before people can start to go back into the water safely. It is also vitally important that lifeguards undertake re-induction training which includes pool based competency assessments before reopening is possible.
This can only be undertaken when the pools are up to temperature and appropriate microbiological results are in place. These processes rely on external contractors to provide this specialist service and the council is working with them to progress this as promptly as possible.
The pools at Lionel and Shawbost will not be available until Phase 4 of the Scottish Government road map because of operational reasons relating to their position within school sites.
Each of the council’s facilities will be operating on limited capacity in line with Scottish Government and national guidance.
Customers will be updated as soon as possible with more information about specific opening dates and booking arrangements.