EThekwini Municipality has reopened its heritage and recreational facilities and will be implementing the necessary safety precautions. Head of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit Thembinkosi Ngcobo said most of the City’s facilities were closed during lockdown.

Ngcobo said the City will be closely monitoring the situation to ensure safety precautions such as social distancing and wearing a mask are adhered to.

“Mandatory safety protocols have been put in place to minimise possible infections when accessing facilities. Reopening the facilities will be done in a phased approach under stringent restrictions. Wearing a mask and a temperature check is compulsory,” he said.

Of the City’s 52 swimming pools, 19 are being reopened to the public as they have met all the Covid-19 requirements. The remainder of the pools are going through repairs and maintenance.

The beach has been opened in phases for walking, jogging and surfing since lockdown level 3. Swimming is still prohibited and will only be allowed from 1 October. Shark safety nets are being installed by the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board.

Lifeguards servicing both pools and beaches are currently undergoing fitness training in preparation of their duties.

Most of the City’s 95 libraries are now open with only the Durban City Hall library remaining closed due to refurbishment. The issuing of books is now permitted under strict protocols. Libraries will have a quarantine room for books that have been returned. They will remain there for 72 hours while restrictions are in place for the use of computer facilities. A limited number of people will be allowed into libraries at a time.

Sport facilities are also now open while the majority of community halls are functioning with limitations in terms of attendance. Weddings and parties are limited to 50 guests with the wearing of masks and temperature checks being compulsory.

All City museums including the Natural Science Museum and Local History Museums have met the required Covid-19 safety protocols and are open. However, access to the museum is restricted to 50 people. The Art Gallery is also now open with large group bookings remaining restricted.

The uMngeni Bird Park and Mitchell Park Zoo are also now opened to the public and will operate seven days a week from 9am to 4pm under stringent protocols.

All parks and nature reserves are also now open to the public with gatherings at parks limited to a maximum 50 people who must maintain social distancing.

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