Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill criticises state government for flipping on COVID rules

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill has criticised the state government for its 'reopening NSW roadmap'.

The mayor said the roadmap "continues to change without notice, creating angst and confusion in the community - particularly in relation to pools".

"Let me be clear. Council is operating within a framework that is set by the state government," Cr Greenhill said. "This framework, at times, defies logic. It changes at a moment's notice and administrators of public facilities, like council, are left to sort through the mess."

Mayor Mark Greenhill: Concerned by the many last minute changes from the state government. "This framework, at times, defies logic. It changes at a moment's notice and administrators of public facilities, like council, are left to sort through the mess." File photo - Blue Mountains Libraries at Katoomba and Blaxland are now open weekdays for those who are fully vaccinated. Click and Collect also continues to be open weekdays at Springwood Hub.

Mayor Mark Greenhill: Concerned by the many last minute changes from the state government. "This framework, at times, defies logic. It changes at a moment's notice and administrators of public facilities, like council, are left to sort through the mess." File photo - Blue Mountains Libraries at Katoomba and Blaxland are now open weekdays for those who are fully vaccinated. Click and Collect also continues to be open weekdays at Springwood Hub.

In line with NSW government direction, Blue Mountains City Council opened outdoor pools at Glenbrook, Lawson and Blackheath for all the community (vaccinated and unvaccinated) on September 27.

"We did this with seven days' notice, which was an enormous feat by our leisure centre staff," he said. "But the state government specified on October 7 that only fully vaccinated people can now visit outdoor pools from Monday October 11. Unvaccinated people, 16 years and over, will be turned away because the state government says so. There is no consistency. If this is the government's position, it should have been the position from the beginning."

"Also, indoor pools were not to open on October 11, but the NSW government also announced on October 7 via the media, that indoor pools can now be open for booked lessons from Monday."

He said the decisions were being made "while providing no clear guidance to organisations like council who have to manage these facilities".

Responding to the criticism parliamentary secretary Shayne Mallard MP said the NSW government was "in a position to bring forward the original reopening of indoor pools across the whole of NSW to Monday October 11 enabling learn to swim programs, squads, lap swimming and rehabilitation activities".

"This is a fast moving pandemic health environment which sometimes entails changes on short notice to health orders," Mr Mallard said.

"It's disappointing the mayor seeks to play politics when we are all in this pandemic together and should be cooperating to resolve issues like this rather than issue political media statements".

COVID-safe check-ins are required for patrons visiting pools.