After over six months of lockdown, the swimming pools for training will be permitted to operate from October 15. This was listed in the new guidelines released by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday. However, the opening of pools will depend on states now.
The MHA guideline stated, “Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be permitted to open, for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S).”
The Centre on Wednesday announced new guidelines for re-opening of several activities such as restarting movie theatres, entertainment parks, schools and colleges among other things.
The Ministry of Health Affairs in its guidelines also said that swimming pools will be permitted to reopen but only for training purpose of sportspersons. Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S) will issue a standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding that.
Ever since the country went into a complete lockdown late March this year as a precautionary measure against rising spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), the Centre has announced significant relaxations in phases. Though there has been a rise in Covid-19 cases India, the government had assured that there would be more relaxations.
The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) has already sent the SOP to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). As far as the national camp is considered, the SAI centre in Bengaluru will be the first preference for elite swimmers. The president said that in a week or two, SFI will come up with a concrete plan about the camp.
The three elite swimmers – Virdhawal Khade (50m freestyle), Srihari Nataraj (100m backstroke) and Kushagra Rawat (400m freestyle) – who are training in Dubai since August will be asked to continue to train there at least till the end of October.