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Hampstead Heath’s four outdoor swimming facilities re-opened on Saturday morning following new government Covid-19 guidelines – with a new online booking system. The City Corporation recently announced its recovery plan to safely reopen the Heath’s Ladies’, Men’s and Mixed Bathing Ponds as well as the Parliament Hill...

Hampstead Heath’s four outdoor swimming facilities re-opened on Saturday morning following new government Covid-19 guidelines – with a new online booking system.

The City Corporation recently announced its recovery plan to safely reopen the Heath’s Ladies’, Men’s and Mixed Bathing Ponds as well as the Parliament Hill Fields Lido, and tests have been carried out.

A new online booking system will help safely manage numbers and give as many people as possible an opportunity to swim whilst respecting social distancing.

Lifeguards have received specialist training with adaptations to allow them to maintain social distancing if they need to assist swimmers in the water. Staff are bringing in enhanced cleaning and new signage to assist swimmers with the new COVID-19 safety measures.

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Swimming will initially be limited to early morning sessions as the City Corporation tests the new safety procedures. If the weekend public sessions run smoothly and safely, additional swimming sessions will be added to allow for more swimmers to access the Ponds and the Lido. In line with Government guidance, sessions must be pre-booked on the Hampstead Heath website.

Anne Fairweather, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, said: “We are delighted to begin safely reopening Heath’s swimming facilities after getting the green light from the Government, who responded to our call to allow outdoor pools to open swiftly.

“This is welcome news to the hundreds of thousands of Londoners who enjoy the bathing ponds and Lido every year.

“We are asking all swimmers to respect the new safety arrangements, and recognise that we have limited capacity with these Covid-secure restrictions, as we welcome people back.”

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