Swimming Pools: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 8th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the importance of public swimming pools for the promotion of recreation, health and public safety, (2) the extent of the threat to many of them due to COVID-19 and funding shortfalls, and (3) the need for Government intervention to prevent their closure.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The consideration of different venues and the activities involved are underpinned by understanding the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 associated with particular activities.

We recognise the importance of re-opening our indoor and outdoor pools and we agree that swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy. There are concerns about transmission around points of contact within such facilities, like changing rooms due to the high volume of contacts. As such, we need to provide reassurance that these facilities will be safe, and are working hard to achieve this as soon as we can.

The Government is actively working towards a safe way to re-open these facilities, with supporting guidance. The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for. Further guidance will follow on the principle of the scheme.

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