Belfast City Council are working to reopen swimming pools in the city’s leisure centres “as soon as possible”.
 
It was announced on Thursday that swimming pools can reopen as further Coivd-19 restrictions were lifted.
 
The Executive also agreed on August 10 for the reopening of indoor pubs and bars selling only drinks. Ministers also agreed to legislate to take the power to make the use of face coverings mandatory in shops from August 20.
 
However, the announcement on swimming pools has been particularly welcomed in West Belfast where many people are looking forward to using the new pool at the Andersonstown Leisure Centre.

MAKING A SPLASH: The new pool in Andersonstown Leisure Centre
MAKING A SPLASH: The new pool in Andersonstown Leisure Centre

 
The £25million sports facility was due to open in April but that date had to be put back because of the Coronavirus lockdown. The leisure centre opened this month, however, the pool remained closed. 
 
Speaking after the announcement that swimming pools can reopen to the public, Department for Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilin said: “Reopening swimming pools is a significant step for those who enjoy swimming for leisure or as a competitive swimmer. It will greatly benefit those involved with their physical health and wellbeing and for many with their mental health.”
 
With preparations continuing on reopening pools, a post on Andersonstown Leisure Centre’s Facebook page said: “We want to make sure we can keep everyone safe so we're finalising our plans to get you back in the pool.”
 
A spokesperson for Belfast City Council said: “Following the announcement of The NI Executive, we are working with GLL to safely reopen swimming pools at our Leisure Centres as soon as possible and we will keep members informed with any developments.”