Returning To The Pool: A User’s Guide

Returning To The Pool: A User’s Guide

Photo by julie aagaard from Pexels.

With the reopening of pools around the country, many people are breathing a sigh of relief at the prospect of getting back into the water after so many months. But safety concerns are still paramount, and it’s essential for both users and operators to take the necessary steps to keep everybody safe.

To help us all make a smooth transition back into the water, Swim England has released a series of guidance documents outlining safety tips and “robust recommendations for operators, casual swimmers, lane swimming, family-fun sessions, club activity, teachers and those attending swimming lessons.”

To provide a brief overview of these guidelines we thought we’d share some of Swim England’s insights and recommendations with you. But for PDF downloads of the full documents you can visit their website.

Leaving and returning home

According to Swim England it’s best to reduce the time spent in changing rooms as much as possible. One way of achieving this is to arrive at the pool swim ready, wearing your costume underneath your clothes, so you can get into the pool as briskly as possible.

It’s also recommended to take a shower at home before and after your swim. This again lowers the time you’ll spend in the changing rooms.

Swim England also point out that it’s a good idea to take hand sanitiser with you. And, of course, they emphasise that you avoiding entering any facilities if you’re showing any symptoms of Covid-19.

At the facility

The general advice given here is to follow the operator’s guidance on all safety measures, from social distancing to direction of travel whilst swimming.

Swim England also emphasises the use of hand sanitiser wherever it’s made available.

Respecting fellow swimmers

In the guidelines Swim England makes a point of reminding us to always be respectful of, and patient with, our fellow swimmers. They remind us that not all swimmers in the pool will be of the same ability, and so we must be conscious of other people’s rights to enjoy swimming at their own pace.

Further to this, they emphasise that we refrain from overtaking anyone in the pool, and always check to see if anyone faster is approaching before pushing off at a turn.


For many people, taking regular breaks is an important and enjoyable part of their swim. The guidance offered here is, primarily, to remain mindful of others. Swim England recommend keeping yourself to the edge of the lane, with your head facing away, so that others can turn and pass without violating social distancing measures.

More resources

For more information on how to keep yourself safe and healthy in the pool, take a look at Swim England’s coronavirus FAQs page, which is “being regularly updated to reflect the latest advice from gov.ukWorld Health Organisation (WHO), and Public Health England (PHE)”.