City Corporation trials safe reopening of Heath swimming facilities


The City of London Corporation has started trialling new measures at Hampstead Heath’s swimming facilities to ensure they are Covid-19-secure before they re-open.

In line with current Government guidance, the Heath’s Ladies’, Men’s and Mixed Bathing Ponds as well as the Lido, are temporarily closed.

The City Corporation recently announced its recovery plan to safely reopen the swimming facilities and tests are being carried out with the Heath’s swimming associations.

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

The City Corporation is keeping the situation under constant review and will reopen the sites as soon as Government guidance allows, with the safety of visitors and staff the number-one priority.

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Anne Fairweather, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, said: “Outdoor swimming on Hampstead Heath is enjoyed by many hundreds of thousands of Londoners every year.

“And with the support of our swimming community, these trials will mean our swimming facilities can reopen safely and successfully, as soon as Government guidance allows.

“We were disappointed not to be included in the list of facilities which can open from 4 July.

“Swimming is a popular way to improve physical health and our tranquil, natural cold water ponds are valued by swimmers for their mental health benefits.

“We have put a lot of effort into getting ready for opening in a Covid-secure way and hope that the Government revises its position on pools shortly.”

Plans for reopening safely also include specialist training for lifeguards with adaptations to maintain social distancing, enhanced cleaning and new signage.

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