The Government has visited four swimming pools to see first-hand how facilities could operate safely before it makes a decision on when pools can re-open.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam and public health officials toured both indoor and outdoor pools and will now give their recommendations to government ministers on how and when they believe it is safe for pools to re-open.
Swim England Chief Executive Jane Nickerson has welcomed the Government’s latest steps, describing it as a “positive sign”.
“I am pleased to update everyone that the visit today was positive,” she said. “We still await an official announcement when pools can reopen again, but we see this a positive sign that things are moving in the right direction.”
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to keep pools closed on 23 June, Swim England launched their #OpenOurPools campaign to persuade the Government to reconsider its decision.
The petition received over 50,000 signatures within seven days and was handed to the Government on 30 June demanding an urgent review into the decision not to allow swimming pools to reopen.
Phil Brownlie, Swim England Head of Public Affairs, praised swimmers’ response to the campaign: “On behalf of Swim England, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the swimming community and beyond who has supported the #OpenOurPools campaign and signed the petition.
“We’ve worked alongside public health and industry experts to produce detailed guidance about how a safe return to the water can be implemented.
“So many people rely on swimming for a variety of physical and mental health reasons and it’s vital we get them open safely as soon as possible so people can enjoy the many benefits being in the pool can bring.”
Swim England released detailed guidance for pool operators to re-open ahead of the Government’s decision to keep pools closed from 4 July.