The City of Ottawa is opening some of its wading pools while it plans to gradually reopen some indoor and outdoor swimming pools, taking COVID-19 prevention measures into account along the way.
The first group of wading pools are set to open on July 6, with a second group opening on July 13. The city says wading pool attendants will be at each pool to provide safety supervision. Admission numbers will also be reduced to allow for physical distancing.
Indoor and outdoor swimming pool facilities are expected to open in phases, beginning the week of July 6, with additional pools opening the following week.
The city plans to significantly reduce the number of swimmers allowed for public and lane swims, to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. In order to accommodate as many swimmers as possible, swims will be scheduled in one-hour sessions with fifteen-minute blocks between them to allow staff to manage people coming in and out of the facilities, and for additional cleaning.
The city is recommending that people over the age of 65 and those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health issues do not participate in any swimming programs for the time being.
As for swimming lessons, the city has reformatted its Learn to Swim Program to incorporate COVID-19 prevention measures.
Swimming instructors will maintain physical distancing from participants and a parent or guardian must accompany their child in the pool for the following levels:
- Private lessons -- pre-school to Swim Kids 4
- Pre-school to Swim Kids 1 to 4 -- low-ratio classes
- Inclusive Swim Kids 1 and 2
The swimming lesson guide will be posted online and registration will be held on Monday, July 13 at 9 p.m.
The city says it will not be offering aquafitness, regular-ratio classes, power swim, and lifesaving and leadership classes during this phase of reopening.