Coronavirus: New swimming pool rules – arrive in swimwear and avoid butterfly

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Swimming pools across the UK could be set to reopen in a matter of weeks – but swimmers will have strict new guidelines to adhere to.

Swim England has revealed its new ‘Returning to the Pool’ advice to ensure the safety of everyone visiting and working around swimming pools.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England Chief Executive, said: “Our first priority remains the safety of everyone involved in our sports, be they participants, leisure centre staff, coaches or volunteers.

“When pools reopen, it will not be a case of ‘business as usual’ and we know that things will have to be different.

“However, 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’.”

The new rules include arriving in your swimwear, showering at home, and avoiding butterfly (scroll down for the full list of rules).

The UK government is yet to announce a reopening date for pools, gyms and leisure facilities.

Ms Nickerson said: “While the guidance contains vital information on how to reopen facilities, unfortunately it doesn’t include the key date on when pools can open.

“We will continue to lobby the Government for a reopening date but, ultimately, we have to be guided by them on this.”


Here’s a round-up of all the new swimming rules you’ll have to adhere to if you plan to hit the pool.

– Arrive ready to swim. Once you have finished your swim, leave the venue as soon as you can

– Shower at home, both pre and post swimming

– Take any equipment/aids with you (floats, kick boards etc.) ensuring it is clean and identifiable as yours before you arrive

– Do not overtake while swimming

– Always attempt to maintain appropriate social distance between yourself and another swimmer

– Wide strokes such as butterfly should be avoided when the lanes become busy

– When resting, turn your head away and allowing others to maintain social distancing measures

– Stay hydrated by bringing your own ‘pre-filled’ water bottle on to poolside during your swim

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