SWIMMERS will be able dive back into pools from tomorrow as the government eases lockdown restrictions on the sporting world.
Outdoor swimming pools in England are allowed to welcome back customers from Saturday July 11, while indoor swimming pools can open again from July 25.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
There are 5,000 public swimming pools in England but experts fear the closures caused by the pandemic could result in as many as 500 being shut for good.
“When pools reopen, it will not be a case of ‘business as usual’ and we know that things will have to be different,” warned Jane Nickerson, chief executive of Swim England.
“But if we are to play our part in protecting the NHS from another wave of
Covid-19 admissions, it is important we follow the latest guidance and adjust to the new normal.”
Lifting lockdown rules is a devolved issue so swimmers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to hold off a bit longer to find out when their local pool will reopen.
The government is set to release finer details on the rules that swimmers will have to follow when in the pool.
But Swim England has already outlined the measures businesses and customers will have to take when they reopen, including wider lanes and limiting the number of customers in the pool at the same time.
Here are all of the rules you have to follow when you next go for a swim:
Swimmers have to make sure that they social distance when in the pool so they won’t be able to overtake each other.
To stop them from getting too close, they won’t be allowed to overtake each other.
Swim England says that if you’re switching between strokes and your speed changes, you should swap lanes to one with slower swimmers.
Swimming pools will be putting up signs to show which way around the lanes customers should be moving.
This is to help them maintain social distancing while exercising.
Leisure centre pool lanes should be widened so that swimmers can social distance while they’re exercising.
This may mean that there are fewer people allowed in the pool at the same time compared to before lockdown.
Businesses will have to limit the number of people allowed in the facilities at the same time, including the changing rooms as well as the pools.
Some centres may operate a booking system where you will be allocated a specific time slot for your swim.
Once you have been issued with a swim-time, you will have to stick to it, or risk your exercise regime being cut short.
Swimmers should bring their own float and other equipment that they may want to use as part of their exercise routine, and make sure you can identify that it’s yours.
Children and adults taking lessons will be able to share equipment but it will have to be sanitised between uses.
Changing rooms are one of the areas of a leisure centre that poses the biggest risk of spreading the virus.
To reduce the amount of time customers spend in the changing rooms, they should arrive “swim ready”, for example with your gear on under your clothes.
Showers are allowed to stay open but customers are advised to only use them when absolutely necessary.
If possible, they should shower before and after their swim at home.
Swimming lessons are allowed to restart too but the teacher will have to stay on the poolside.
They should also make sure to social distance from their pupils.
Customers are advised to bring hand sanitiser with them which they should use regularly while using the facilities.
Indoor gyms are also allowed to open again from July 25 – here’s what they will look like when they welcome back fitness fans.
You’ll also have to follow strict rules when you workout at the gym, including leaving your contact details with staff.
Beauty salons can reopen again as well, but they won’t be able to carry out any facial treatment, including eyebrow care.