From avoiding the showers to BYOF (Bring Your Own Float) policies, here's everything you need to know...
As part of the government’s plan to slowly get the nation on track for the elusive ‘new normal’, lockdown measures are gradually being eased – with outdoor swimming pools having opened in England from 11th July and indoor swimming sites available to visit from 25th July.
With countless dreams of sippin’ cocktails poolside in the Spanish sun now in tatters, people across the UK are desperate to make the most out of their local lido or indoor pool – but as expected, we won’t be swimming quite the same way we swam before.
Releasing new guidance in a document entitled, ‘Covid 19: Returning to the pool’, Swim England have paired up with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in an effort to create clear swimming pool rules to help people get back to swimming as safely as possible.
Commenting on the new guidelines, Jane Nickerson, the chief executive of Swim England, said: ‘We have all been missing the water during the Covid-19 enforced closure of swimming pools.’
‘For many of our members across all our disciplines, this will have been the longest period out of the water, which can take a toll on both our physical and mental wellbeing.’
‘As the recognised national governing body, Swim England is therefore delighted to be able to produce this guidance to help ensure the safe return to the water once swimming pools are allowe to open once more.’
From swimming lane etiquette to arriving ‘pool ready’, these are the swimming pool rules we all need to bear in mind whilst livin’ la vida lido:
Swim England’s swimming pool rules:
Before heading to your pool, check the website or social media channels for timetables to book a slot in the pool if necessary.
2. If you show any Covid-symptoms, don’t show up
This includes a temperature, new and persistent cough, loss of taste and/or smell.
3. Arrive ‘pool ready’
To limit the time spent in changing areas, arrive with your swimsuit under your clothes and ready to swim. Once you’ve finished swimming, leave the venue as soon as you can.
4. Shower at home
To avoid as little time in the changing room as possible, pre and post-swim showers should be conducted at home (even if facilities are open at the pool)
5. Bring your own equipment
Yes, any pools that have re-opened will be operating a strict BYOF (Bring Your Own Float) system. Any equipment/aids used (floats, kick boards etc) will have to be your own, and you must ensure it is clean and identifiable as yours before you arrive. Also bring hand sanitiser.
6. Follow guidance on the duration of swim
To ensure social distancing is adhered to, your swimming pool may well implement slot times and the maximum number of people who can make use of the pool. If this is the case, follow their guidance on this.
7. Respect other pool users
You’ll be sharing the pool with people of different standards and abilities, so respect their right to enjoy their swim. Also avoid physical contact with other pool-goers.
8. Watch your speed and don’t overtake
Choose your lane using the fast, medium and slow signs and by watching those already swimming. Do not overtake and, before pushing off at each turn, check to see if anyone faster is approaching.
9. Follow the signs
Make sure you follow the directional signs and move across to the appropriate side of the lane for each length.
10. Social distance in the water
Just because we’re not on land, doesn’t mean SD regulations don’t apply – so always attempt to maintain appropriate social distance between yourself and other swimmers.
11. Pick your stroke and stick with it
There had been talk around whether Swim England would ban the butterfly, as it’s a wide stroke and would increase risk of coming into contact with other swimmers. Although this advice has since been removed, its advised that if you change to a different stroke whilst doing lengths, think about moving lanes.