How to keep your family safe as swimming pools prepare to reopen with strict new rules

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After weeks of anticipation, leisure centres could finally be set to reopen in a matter of weeks.

Speaking at the daily briefing yesterday, culture secretary Oliver Dowden revealed that gyms, leisure centre and ‘all the other normal fitness activities’ could return at the start of July.

The news will come as music to the ears of many parents, who are eager to get their children out of the house.

However, when swimming pools do finally reopen, they’re likely to be subject to strict rules.

Earlier this week, Swim England revealed its new ‘Returning to the Pool’ advice, including showering and changing at home, and avoiding certain strokes.

To help families prepare for the reopening of swimming pools, Paul Thompson, Founder of Water Babies, has given his advice.

Speaking to Mirror Online, he said: “When pools reopen it won’t be a case of ‘business as usual’ and we will all need to adjust to a new normal.

“The new Swim England guidelines ensure the safety of carers and babies swimming again, and while we are still waiting on the Government response, we are confident that once this is given, and that everyone follows the Swim England guidelines, it will be safe for parents to take their young ones swimming again.”

If you’re planning to take your children swimming when pools reopen, Mr Thompson advises you speak directly with the operator to ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest rules.

He said: “Parents wanting to get back swimming with their children should speak to the swimming pool operator, leisure centre or swim school before returning to the facility.

“They should provide you with the correct information and advice to follow as each pool facility will have its own COVID-19 protocols in place.”

Meanwhile, if anyone in your family is experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, it’s best to stay at home, according to Mr Thompson.

He added: “If yourself or a member of your household is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not go swimming and stay at home to avoid putting yourself or others at risk.

“We also recommend taking nothing more than essential items with you to leisure facilities to minimise contact with surroundings.”

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