Outdoor swimming pools can reopen this Saturday, indoor pools from 25 July

Brockwell Lido 1

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport has announced that outdoor pools in England will be allowed to reopen from Saturday 11 July. Indoor pools in England will begin to reopen from Saturday 25 July. Pools have been closed since Friday 20 March.

The announcement was made 16 days after Swim England launched its #OpenOurPools campaign. Nearly 55,000 signed the petition calling on the government to reconsider its decision not to open pools alongside hotels, restaurants, pubs and cinemas on 4 July.

With many pools facing financial hardship and under threat of closure, Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has vowed that the national governing body will do everything in its power to support facilities that are under threat. Earlier today Portishead Lido announced that it will not be opening in 2020 due to financial constraints.

“Now we know when pools can start to reopen, our focus turns to fighting for those facilities that are facing an uncertain future due to financial difficulties caused by the lockdown to curb this awful pandemic,” Jane Nickerson said.

“Aquatic activity has been proven to improve people’s physical and mental health, helping save the health and social care system more than £357 million a year.

“Even before this outbreak, we were forecasting a shortage of facilities over the next 10-20 years and this problem will only be exacerbated by the loss of pools as a result of Covid-19.

“These pools are an integral and important part of every community and we’ll do everything we can to help ensure that remains the case.”

01 Cover July 21

Issue 51 July 2021

  • Linford Christie on his new interest in outdoor swimming and the secrets behind his success
  • The Icebreakers, a group using cold water swimming to support men's mental health
  • Triple-amputee and former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod on completing a 1km sea swim and inspiring others
  • James Pittar, the first blind swimmer to complete the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming
  • The frontline workers finding solace in outdoor swimming France’s hidden wild swim spots
  • The revolution in women’s swimwear

Swim Wild and Free

Sign up to our newsletter and receive a free five-part series on the fundamentals of freestyle by Olympic silver medallist Keri-anne Payne.