Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve heard swimming pools are re-opening. What is your plan?

Our plan is to re-open our pools to the public as soon as it’s safe and practical to do so. We will be aiming to split the 50m pool in two to support social distancing. We have not set a date yet but you can keep in touch by visiting our website or following us on twitter and facebook.

Will you be opening in phases?

Yes, many swimming pools and leisure centre facilities are taking a phased approach to re-opening to ensure that staff and customers remain safe and the procedures put in place effectively support social distancing. Public swimming will start on Monday 14th September 2020.

When I come to the pool will it look the same as before?

When you do return to our facilities, you may notice physical changes that have occurred in addition to the social distancing measures we’ve put in place. We are proud to announce that Sport Swansea and Swansea University are working towards a further partnership with the Wales National Pool Swansea and Swansea Council. Over the next six months there will be a physical transformation taking place as the partnership develops, in addition to the behind-the-scenes changes. As we move closer to our official launch date, we will be in touch with update information on how this partnership will benefit you, our members.

How will you help keep visitors and staff safe?

We’re very excited to be in a position to plan for re-opening. But your visit will not be the same as it has been in the past. To keep everyone safe we will be limiting visitor numbers to a maximum of 27 in accordance with Welsh Government Guidance per 60 minute or 90 minute session.

You will need to book in advance and you will be checked-in by a concierge on arrival. If you don’t have a booking unfortunately, you will not be allowed in. We have adopted this approach for the safety of everyone and to comply with test, trace and protect.

Do I have to wear a face covering when arriving at the pool and moving through the reception and changing Village?

We are asking you to wear a mask within the dryside areas of the facility, unless you have a good reason for not doing so.

It is acknowledged that good hygiene and maintaining a distance are the best protections. To help with this WNPS will supply sanitiser, conduct enhanced cleaning and restrict the number of people within the facility.

How will the sessions system operate?

The booking system will be by telephone on a first-come-first-served basis.

The phone number to call is: 01792 513 513. Online booking is not currently available.

Members will be able to book up to five days in advance. Once all slots are filled in any given session no further bookings will be accepted for that session. Non-members can book 24 hours in advance of a session.

When you book your slot you will be allocated a cubicle and a locker number and these will be confirmed to you by the concierge when you arrive.

If you would prefer to arrive beach ready and do not wish to use a locker then we have installed pods for you to place your belonging in within the pool hall.

The 60-minute and 90-minute session times include changing on arrival and departure. This means time in the pool would be less than that and customers are asked to ensure they leave the pool in time to get changed and leave the centre by the end of the session. This is to ensure our staff have enough time to complete a rigorous cleaning process of the facilities between each session.

Each family booked for a family

What about cancellations?

We strongly encourage people who want to cancel to let us know as early as possible but no later than 24 hours before your session is due. If you can’t make your session, please contact us to cancel it so someone else has the opportunity to swim. Please contact us by phone on 01792 513 513.

Some people may develop Covid-19 symptoms or get a positive test between booking and their session. If so, please do not come to the Wales National Pool. Stay safe, stay at home and ring us to cancel your booking.

Please note that if you miss your session on three occasions without having cancelled any of those visits, we will not take further bookings from you. This is to ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to use the pool and is in line with best practice elsewhere.

What do I need to do if I develop Covid-19 symptoms or have a positive test within 14 days of my most recent swimming session?

Part of the booking conditions require us to take you name address and a contact number for NHS Wales test, trace protect. Whilst there is no legal requirement for you to provide this information, if you have a membership with us then in accordance with our GDPR privacy notice we do hold this information. Information would only be shared with NHS Wales in the event of an outbreak which impacts upon WNPS. Full details are in the link below. 3

https://gov.wales/keeping-records-staff-customers-and-visitors-test-trace-protect

How often will you be cleaning the facilities?

Between each session. This is why it is vital that customers leave within their 60-minute or 90-minute session slot. This process takes 30 minutes and will involve cleaning changing rooms, doors, door handles and other hard surfaces that have been in use. We have purchased a handheld ‘fogger’ to ensure all facilities that have been used are sanitised between sessions.

Cleaning will be to the standard:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

If I visit the pool will I be able to use changing rooms and showers?

Yes. When we re-open visitors will have their own individual changing area safely segregated from other users. We’ll also be encouraging customers to use showering areas responsibly by observing social distancing.

We do however want to minimise the time that you spend in the changing village and so will be asking you to arrive “beach ready” – with your swimming costume under your day clothes. This approach will maximise your time in the pool. If there are reasons why you cannot do this, please let us know at time of booking so we can provide any further advice.

We do require that you have a shower before entering the pool.

It is expected that users can shower after their swim for a rinse-off and leave only. It is not expected that users will wash their hair. Hairdryers will NOT be available

If you would prefer not to use the changing cubicles and lockers but are planning to arrive beach ready and then leave without showering we have installed pods on poolside for your belongings.

What advice will I have when I get to the pool?

The concierge greeting you on arrival will be able to answer any questions you might have. There will be signs on doors and floors around the facilities to help you enjoy the pool responsibly. Our covid-19 messaging will be in yellow. There will also be staff in the changing village who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

How will you manage social distancing at the pool?

We’ve introduced a limit of 27 customers per session in accordance with Welsh Government Guidance and we can accommodate this number safely in the changing village in a socially-distanced way. There will be reminder signs around the facilities and our concierge and poolside staff will be available to offer advice.

What will the arrangements be poolside?

Similar to elsewhere in the facilities. Our lifeguards will be working as usual to ensure your safety. For lane swimming we are implementing a double lane set up and all swimmers will swim in a clockwise direction. You will swim up one lane and swim down the next and lane ropes will be removed from alternate lanes (see picture below)

Please be mindful of the speed of the lane you are swimming in and move to a different lane if necessary. If asked by a member of WNPS staff to move please so immediately.

You should only overtake at the end of a lane and please ensure you allow a faster swimmer to do so.

Face-masks are not permitted whilst in the pool.

I’m a member. What are my options?

At the point of lockdown all memberships were paused. If you are a direct debit member and if you wish to keep your membership on pause, we are initially giving customer the opportunity to do so, to begin with until the 30th November. If you wish to come back straight away, we will be in touch as soon as our opening date is confirmed to advise you of when your DD schedule will resume.

If you have paid upfront, then we are offering you the choice to of a refund, or we will extend your membership to reflect the period when it could not be used.

Please contact us by email at wnp@swansea.ac.uk

I’m disabled or need additional support. What provisions are being made for me?

We have a number of dedicated disabled changing areas, including showering. Booking these facilities will operate in exactly the same way as the sessions system explained above. The facilities will be allocated on a first come, first served basis for each session.

At the time of booking all customers will be asked if they require any special assistance, use of lift, disabled change and shower, larger changing cubicle, use of pool hoist. On arrival you will be met by our concierge. Please do not come unless you have a booking as you will not be allowed to swim otherwise. As with all other swimmers, you will need to ensure you allow enough time for changing within the overall 60 minute or 90 minute session period.

I am a disabled person who needs assistance to change and I want to bring a helper with me? What arrangements can you make for me and them?

What happens if I leave something at the pool?

Personal items, swimwear, underwear, towels, goggles etc.will be disposed of immediately.

Valuables i.e. phones, keys, wallets/purses and jewellery will be bagged and logged and will be kept for no longer than 21 days.

What provisions are being made for the return of club swimming sessions?

We are in constant touch with club coaches and managers. Please contact them for the latest updates for your clubs.

When will swimming lessons start?

Due to the limit imposed by Welsh Government on the maximum number within the pool hall, we are currently developing a programme that we can expand as these restrictions ease. Please bear with us and more details will follow as soon as possible.

I have heard that swimming pool water kills Corona Virus is this true?

According to The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) chlorine, which can break down chemical bonds of bacteria and viruses, could be an effective way to minimise the risk of transmitting Covid-19 in pools. It has developed guidelines along with Public Health England about the amounts of chlorine needed to be used in the water.

According to PWTAG: “The available evidence shows that the physical effect of the pool water and an appropriate relationship between free chlorine and pH value should inactivate the virus within 15-30 seconds.

“The dilution of virus in the pool water volume will also reduce the risk of exposure and transmission.”

WNPS adhere to PWTAG guidance at all times and chemical treatment at this time has been adjusted accordingly.

Welsh Government gave the go ahead for pools in Wales to reopen on 10th August – what took you so long?

A large factor in what seems to have been a delay in reopening is that we have had contractors working in the reception area to install some of the infrastructure for the joint project mentioned above. This was due to have been completed some weeks ago, however was unfortunately delayed due to lockdown restrictions. It was impossible for us to implement our social distancing measures for access until the work was completed and as such this delayed our opening. Rest assured we have been working very hard to ensure that we could open for you as soon as we were able.

My child is just about to start lessons, what should I remember?

Most importantly please don’t forget to tell us if you child has any medical conditions or special educational needs. It’s always helpful to have even the smallest piece of information to help us provide your child the best tuition possible.

Long hair needs to be tied back and long fringes clipped, swim hats are ideal.

Don’t send them in bikinis or baggy shorts – they hinder their progress. If your child needs appropriate swimwear we have some lovely options available to buy at Reception.

At the end of each lesson your teacher will endeavour to provide you with brief feedback. If for any reason they don’t get to you please do not hesitate to approach them if there is something you wish to discuss.

Regular attendance is required for good development. Learning to swim is a lesson and like all lessons, practise is essential – time in the water after school or on weekends will really help.

Some weeks your child will go into deeper water to assist with their development and to avoid complacency. Some may find this daunting, though please do not be concerned about this, they will be given the appropriate buoyancy aid where necessary and we will look after them very carefully.

The last week of the course is a fun week, a reward for hard work over the course. Whilst this session appears less structured they will be learning new skills such as foundation moves for synchronised swimming, mini water polo and diving.

What learn to swim plan does Aqua School use?

Wales National Pool Swansea uses Swim Wales’ Learn to Swim Wales framework (LTSW) . Swim Wales are the Governing Body for Swimming in Wales.

 

What is Learn to Swim Wales (LTSW)?

Learn To Swim Wales is a seamless pathway from a baby’s first experience in the water with an adult, to children who are competent swimmers fully equipped to continue with aquatic activities for the rest of their lives. It has four distinctly branded areas:

Splash – Babies and toddlers – introduction to aquatic environment and water confidence skills

Nofio Ysgol – Key Stage 2 School Swimming

Wave – Learn to Swim – learning and developing fundamental movement and aquatic skills

Skills – Aquatic Disciplines – developing specific skills in the aquatic disciplines; swimming, water polo, diving, synchronised swimming and self rescue.

 

How does re-enrolment work?

Once registered on a course you have priority to rebook. On week 11 or 12 you will receive an email stating which class you or your child has been allocated. It will also give you a deadline to make any changes and a deadline for payment. If you pay by this date you/your child’s space is secure. Many customers pay as soon as they receive the email as deadline day is notoriously busy!

 

What happens if I can’t make the day/time allocated?

If you are unable to make the time/day allocated then we ask that you follow the instructions on the bottom of the email, by the deadline specified, in order to request a change.  We will contact you when we can accommodate this.  If we are unable to accommodate your request we will ring to discuss alternatives.  Please note this maybe after the deadline but your allocated space will be secure until we contact you.

 

Why can’t you “hold” my place for me?

Due to high demand for our lessons, there is a very strict deadline for any booking alterations and payments. Failing to follow these dates (detailed in your email) could result in you losing your place.

We have over 700 customers in our children’s learn to swim programme. Each course some do not re-enroll for a variety of reasons. If we secured every place without payment many customer would be unable to make alterations and would would be unable to accommodate new siblings/new customers. In order to be fair to all we have to be very strict with re-enrollments.

 

You have our credit card details, so why not automatically debit the next course?

Unfortunately whilst we take your card details at point of purchase, our booking system does not allow us to store card details.

 

How do new customers enroll?

New customers should contact our reception team for us to ascertain if you can be waitlisted or if you require an assessment. An assessment will allow you to be placed on the correct waitlist as it is very difficult to make changes once a course starts and you child may end up in a class above or below their ability without having one. It is important that you keep hold of your assessment slip. Once waitlisted you will be emailed once existing customers have been accommodated.

 

When does a Swimmer Achieve an Award?

A student must pass ALL outcomes for that Wave or RLSS Stage before they achieve an award. The outcomes MUST be performed to a standard that is stipulated by the the Governing Body for the teaching plan. Pupil report forms for most courses are given out the first week of re-enrolment and certificates are given out on the last week of the course.

 

When my child achieves an award and moves up, will there be a place for them?

WNPS will guarantee a place for every child already in the system, however, we cannot guarantee the suitability of every day, time and course offered if your child is moving up.

 

What method of communication do you use to let us know of changes and other important information?

Via email, Twitter, Facebook our noticeboards (reception & pool), teachers, and very occasionally by letter.

 

Do i have to book for a fitness session?

Booking is not required, though some sessions can get very busy, especially at different times of year eg the approach of triathlon event season.

 

What should i do if i have a medical condition?

It is extremely important in a swimming pool environment to ensure that you are safe whilst having fun. If you have any medical condition which could affect your participation or safety then it is essential you let a lifeguard know, or if you are attending a staffed session, to let the instructor know. This is for all our sessions from Splash & Play to the more challenging long course Swim 4 Tri Session. It is also very important to inform an instructor if you are attending any fitness session, if you are pregnant as some aquacise/aquafit exercises can be detrimental to pregnancy.