Swimming pools set to reopen in July but you'll have to arrive in your trunks and leave wet as changing rooms closed
SWIMMING pools could reopen as early as July – but you may have to arrive in your trunks and leave damp as changing rooms are likely to remain shut.
Under plans drawn up by officials, swimmers will be told to come 'beach ready' while social distancing must be maintained in the water.
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Kids "playing around" will be banned from pools unless they are taking lessons.
Officials will publish the plans on how pools can safely reopen on June 15, the Sunday Times.
Jane Nickerson, chief executive of Swim England, said: "In the early days, it may be that you are encouraged not to use the changing rooms.
"What we're suggesting is going 'beach ready'. Some pools might ask you just to put on a towelling robe and — let's hope you're not on a bus, you're in a car — travel home like that."
People may be told to change by the pool and put their valuables in a bag inside a locker.
She said children will be banned from pools because of problems with social distancing.
However she added: "It doesn't mean that we couldn't do…lessons, or some club and community activity – as long as they are programmed and maintaining a distance."
Swimmers will also have to adhere to social distancing rules in the water.
A standard 25-metre pool will be modified so it has three lanes, rather than the normal six.
Under the proposals, this would mean 10 people to a lane, and 30 in the pool in total.
Ms Nickerson said: "It will be a much stricter regime…not standing at the end, but to keep swimming – and to keep five metres from the person in front of you.
"We are saying if you do need to stop for a rest, or catch your breath, just make sure you get to the edge of the lane, to allow others to turn, and keep your head away, face the wall."
It is hoped gyms could also reopen in July.
Under the plans, equipment will be 6ft apart, sweat towels will be banned and managers will need to allow 32sq ft per person to operate safely.
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