Here’s when swimming pools might reopen after lockdown is eased
Nicola Sturgeon has revealed Scotland's plans to exit lockdown, but when could swimming pools reopen again?
The First Minister has unveiled plans to ease Scotland out of lockdown restrictions, as part of a four-phase "route map".
From Friday (29 May) in Scotland, members of two different households will be allowed to meet up outdoors if you maintain social distancing.
But if you’re a keen swimmer and eager to get back in your local pool, you may be wondering when it’s likely to open again?
Here’s what you need to know.
When could swimming pools reopen?
In phase one, from May 29, outdoor swimming in Scotland is permitted along with other outside activities including golf, canoeing and hiking. However, leisure centres and gyms will not be reopening until the country reaches phase three of the exit-lockdown plan during which physical distancing measures will still be in place.
In England, the government hasn’t yet confirmed when swimming pools will be able to reopen.
It’s likely that when pools do reopen, fewer swimmers will be allowed in at a once - and for less time.
Virgin Active said that it will inform customers when it will reopen clubs "once it is safe to do so based on government advice".
Gym members could also be asked to frequently wash their hands during visits.
What safety measures will be put in place?
Swim England has been sharing information with Scottish Swimming, Sport England, Swim Ireland and Swim Wales, alongside providing initial guidance to the government on how to reopen more than 4,000 of the country’s swimming pools, and will now start developing more detailed recommendations for operators, clubs and swim schools.
This will be based on the latest scientific guidance on the measures needed to ensure the safe use of facilities following the coronavirus lockdown.
Richard Lamburn, Swim England Head of Facilities, said: “A lot of pools have never closed before so we’ve been providing the guidance and support needed to local authorities and operators to ensure they were safely shut down and maintained.”
“The science and understanding of Covid-19 in the swimming pool environment is evolving every day and we are continuing to monitor and support research in this area in cooperation with international partners.
“We will be developing our guidance in line with scientific research and alongside the information from the Government on the national exit of lockdown.”
Mr Lamburn said Swim England would ideally like up to three weeks’ notice for the industry to get pools ready to be used again.
However, they are endeavouring to support the government whatever the time frame to ensure facilities are both safe and ready for swimmers to return to the pool.