A family enjoys splashing around in the waters at the Airlie Lagoon. Photo: Tourism Whistundays
A family enjoys splashing around in the waters at the Airlie Lagoon. Photo: Tourism Whistundays

Airlie Lagoon to reopen today

AIRLIE’S iconic lagoon will reopen today but it will be with significantly reduced numbers of people.

Under the government’s three-stage roadmap to recovery, swimming pools and lagoons can open from today but attendees are limited to 10 people at one time.

Whitsunday Regional Council has secured permission for there to be 10 people in the water and 10 people in the surrounding parklands, but it will still mean people being patient, according to council’s business improvement officer Lauretta Rogers.

“We will have one entry/exit point, which is located at the Night Owl end of the facility, near the amenity block,” Ms Rogers said.

“We will have security at the entry/exit point. Customers will sign in and be asked to clean hands with sanitiser prior to entry.”

The 10-person limit includes parents and carers that are supervising their children in the water.

“This means we need to be considerate of others that may be waiting to enter the lagoon,” Ms Rogers said.

“For those wanting to enjoy the sunshine, have a picnic and catch up with family and friends (gatherings of up to 10 people), we encourage you to visit other recreation areas such as local beaches or the Airlie Beach Foreshore.”

The State Government has said that pools and lagoons could open with greater numbers with an approved plan.

Whitsunday Regional Council disaster management co-ordinator Matt Fanning said council had submitted a request to reopen the lagoon for up to 100 people but was still waiting on a response.

“Council has put a request for information through to the State Government seeking exemption for the ten-person ruling so that we can allocate a larger number of persons to the Airlie Lagoon,” he said.

“We submitted with that application a management plan stating how we would control the numbers.

“We’ve requested for up to 100 people to use the lagoon and to have the lifeguard services managing the social distancing, as well as water safety aspects of the operation.”

Mayor Andrew Willcox said if 100 people were allowed under council’s application, the lagoon would be strictly monitored to ensure everyone was abiding by social distancing.

“We’re putting in a rapid response plan so if things do go pear-shaped or we have a peak or a spike we can deal with it, but we need to start opening some things and trying,” he said.

“I believe the people of the Whitsundays have done the right thing and they need to be rewarded for their efforts.”


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