Will swimming pools close during lockdown?

Swimming pools are set to close their doors from Thursday under the latest coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Jack de Menezes
Sports News Correspondent
@JackdeMenezes
Friday 06 November 2020 11:34
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Boris Johnson announces second national lockdown

Swimming pools will be closed to the public when the new coronavirus lockdown restrictions are enforced from Thursday.

The easing of restriction on 13 May allowed the sport to resume after the initial lockdown period, with outdoor courts the first to reopen before indoor courts were permitted to be used.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday that new restrictions will come into force from Thursday morning due to the rapidly growing number of coronavirus deaths and cases, which surpassed one million at the weekend.

As a result, leisure centres, gyms and sports facilities including swimming pools and tennis courts have been ordered to close their doors from Thursday, and will not be open again until 2 December at the earliest due to the four-week lockdown.

It means you cannot go swimming indoors for the next month even with people in your household, with swimming pools ordered to close their doors until the restrictions are eased.

Outdoor swimming will still be allowed as part of the government’s encouragement to maintain outdoor exercise.

However, Swim England are not happy with the ruling as there is little evidence that swimming is contributing to the surge in coronavirus cases.

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson plans to appeal to the Government over the new restrictions.

She wrote on Twitter: "Lots happening over the next couple of days. Media interviews and working in partnership with other indoor sports to lobby Government.

"Meetings tomorrow on this. I am championing our clubs and the health benefits of swimming to the nation as this is a key message to (the) Government."

Under the restrictions announced by Boris Johnson, individuals are “encouraged to go outside for exercise” and are also allowed to meet with one person from another household as long as social distancing is maintained.

Discussions are taking place between the government, Public Health England and Swim England about the prospect of swimming being allowed to take place during the second lockdown period, though it is uncertain if Swim England has successfully lobbied for any reprieve for the sport.

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