Wollongong City Council has closed its nine supervised swimming pools, but - for now - a dip in the city's rock pools is still an option for exercising at a safe distance.
However, people are asked to follow social isolation and distancing advice - which includes staying at home wherever possible, and remaining 4sqm apart.
"The NSW Health advice did not suggest our pools were unsafe for swimming," Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said. "However, they do pose a challenge when it comes to supporting social isolation and social distancing measures.
"If people are sensible, if we play our game right, we might be able to still go outside and enjoy our beautiful open spaces."
However, he said it was vital people only socialised with close family, stayed at home where possible and obeyed distancing rules when going outside for exercise or to use essential services.
The Wollongong council closure affects both chlorinated and saltwater pools and covers Berkeley, Corrimal, Dapto, Helensburgh, and Western Suburbs pools as well as the Continental, Port Kembla and Thirroul pools. Beaton Park pool was closed earlier this week under government regulations.
In addition to the closure of the supervised pools, funerals at Wollongong Memorial Gardens and Cemeteries will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people, and personal fitness trainers in open spaces will also have a maximum of 10 people, after new rules came in at midnight Wednesday.
The closure of the supervised pools follows Council's announcement on Monday to close the following services to the public:
- Wollongong City Council's Administration Building.
- Council's Customer Service Centre. The team will be available online and over the phone only.
- Our libraries - our online services will continue to be available through the Library's website and mobile library services.
- Wollongong Art Gallery.
- Wollongong Youth Centre.
- The indoor pool, gyms, spa and sauna and hall at Beaton Park and Lakeside Leisure Centres. Selected outdoor services and functions will remain open.
- All community facility buildings (except childcare centres).
- Wollongong Council's Friday Men's Shed
- Volunteering Illawarra.
The following key services will remain open at this time:
- Lifeguard services on all 17 patrolled beaches.
- Wollongong Botanic Garden, remains open. However, the Friends of the Botanic Garden program, and all public programs, are suspended until further notice.
- Russell Vale Golf Course
- Wollongong Memorial Gardens and Cemeteries
- Wollongong Tourist Parks. However, the tourist parks offer reduced caravan and camping options. Self-contained cabin options are available for the purpose of essential travel and to support existing bookings.
Cr Bradbery said while there were modifications to Council's services, Council staff were working hard to support ongoing operations.
"We have taken a community-oriented, risk-based approach to the delivery of our services and these modifications are to support the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers, their families and our community,'' he said.
"Council is constantly reviewing and will respond to further updates and advice. There will not be an overnight solution for this virus, and we have the flexibility to adapt the plans we have in place to ensure essential services, like waste collection and road repairs, continue.''