Coronavirus: Swimming pools in Dubai reopen with strict guidelines

Children are allowed under supervision by adults and coaches

Swimming pools in residential communities, hotels and gyms can reopen in Dubai as long as operators follow strict municipality guidelines. Courtesy: Five HotelsReem Mohammed/ The National

Public and private swimming pools have been permitted to reopen and water sports activities can resume in Dubai as long as sports clubs and communities follow strict guidelines issued by municipality authorities.

Pools can operate across residential zones, commercial facilities, recreational clubs and  gyms. Hotels too reopened swimming pools from Friday after being shut for two months.

The ban remains on pool parties, pool bars, social gatherings, massage services, spas, sauna and jacuzzi.

Children are allowed in pools under the supervision at all times of adults and coaches who are responsible for their behaviour.

Staff, trainers and visitors must wear face shields or masks but are allowed to remove these during swimming.

The detailed rules specified that two-metre social distancing was required inside and outside the pool.

Operators were asked to maintain a specified capacity in the pools, an isolation room in case of detection of a suspected Covid-19 case and take the temperature of all who enter the swimming pool area.

The municipality guidelines cautioned people against sharing items difficult to disinfect such as goggles, nose clips and snorkels.

Visitors should not share food or toys with people from  other households.

The units must ensure they have adequate equipment including kick boards and pool noodles in order to minimise sharing. Operators unable to adhere to strict cleaning regulations  must not provide this equipment.

Staff should be trained on social distancing and the new hygiene protocols.

All visitors, guests, trainers must have their temperature screened before entering the pool. Anyone with temperature equal to or more than 37.5˚C should not be allowed to enter the pool.

People with respiratory illness or chronic diseases should not be permitted to enter the swimming pool areas.

An isolation area must be demarcated to handle any suspected or confirmed Covid-19 case within a private or public swimming venue.

If a swimming pool is located within a facility that already has an isolation room then that area will suffice.

Members of a single group of up to five members can sit together but four metres must be maintained between two groups.

Sun beds must be placed at a distance of two metres between individuals and four metres between groups of people.

Operators should ensure pool capacity is maintained at one person per four square metres. The capacity regulations must be clearly mentioned at the entrance.

Pool staff must check the two metre distancing between guests, while parents and coaches are accountable for their children’s behaviour in the pool area.

Deep cleaning and a water quality test must be undertaken prior to opening to minimise the risk of water-borne diseases.

Facilities must ensure that frequently touched surfaces and common areas are disinfected once every hour. Fixtures such as handrails, lounge chairs, tables, pool noodles, kickboards, poolside showers must be cleaned each time these are used.

Companies running the pools must ensure visitors and pool users maintain safe distance.

The new rules stated that people should not spit in the pool, were required to wash their hands  often, shield their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough and use poolside showers.

Showers, lockers and changing rooms could be used  if sanitisation is completed after every use or every hour.

Facilities must stay closed if operators cannot  maintain strict cleaning regimes and social distancing rules, the Dubai Municipality said in a notification.

Pool facilities and clubs must not provide towels as visitors and guests must bring their own.

Sunbeds must be covered with an extra layer of linen that should be removed and replaced with a fresh cover after every use. The linen must be provided by the operator and sunbeds should be fully sanitised after every use.

Touchless hand sanitisers must be installed in all common areas with adequate ventilation and air conditioning system in indoor areas.

Regular cleaning, water testing and maintenance of chlorine concentration levels in the pools should be as per municipality guidelines.

The reopening of swimming pools in the emirate was announced by the Dubai Sports Council based on the directives of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.

Swim academies and aquatic centres that plan to resume activities must obtain approval of the Dubai Sports Council by registering on the link: