Dubai permits swimming pools to reopen, water sports to resume
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Dubai permits swimming pools to reopen, water sports to resume

Dubai permits swimming pools to reopen, water sports to resume

A strict set of guidelines has been issued for operators and visitors


Swimming pools in Dubai can reopen provided they adhere to strict guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Dubai Sports Council announced on Friday.

Water sports activities in the emirate have also been permitted to resume, a statement said.

Dubai Sports Council has issued a detailed list of conditions that need to be met by aquatic centres, academies and swimming pools to resume operations.

The reopening mandate covers pools in hotel establishments, health clubs/gym facilities, recreation clubs, and residential and commercial facilities.

Social gatherings, parties and events are still barred and excluded from the resumption order, along with massage services, spa, sauna, jacuzzi and pool bars, the statement stressed.

All swimming academies and aquatic sports centres who have a licence and want to resume their activities, must obtain the approval of Dubai Sports Council by registering online on its website.

Prior to reopening, all the pools will have to undergo deep cleaning to minimise the risk of water-borne diseases and the facilities will also need to get a water quality test done.

Once they reopen, they will have to ensure they maintain hygiene and sanitisation requirements as per Dubai Municipality guidelines.

Guidelines include –

* Maintaining a regular cleaning regime, water testing, and maintaining the chlorine concentration.

* Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and common areas at least once every hour, and shared objects each time they are used (handrails, lounge chairs, tabletops, pool noodles, kickboards, pool side showers, etc).

* Ensure visitors maintain safe etiquette before and during swimming, which means no spitting in the pool, washing their hands more often, covering their sneeze and coughs, and showering – in the side pool showers only – before and after using the pool.

* Shower facilities, lockers and changing rooms are permitted to open, provided they are cleaned and sanitised after every use, or at a minimum of once every hour, and social distancing must be maintained at all times.

* Facilities are not permitted to provide towels – visitors and guests must bring their own.

* Sunbeds must be covered with an extra layer of linen, which should be removed and replaced by a new linen after every use. The linen will be provided by the operator and sunbeds should be fully sanitised after every use.

* Install touchless hand sanitisers in all the common areas and ensure that ventilation/cooling and air conditioning system for indoor spaces operates properly with an adequate intake of fresh air.

* Visitors must refrain from sharing items that are difficult to clean, sanitise, or disinfect or that are meant to come in contact with the face – for example, goggles, nose clips, and snorkels. They are also discouraged from sharing items such as food, equipment, toys, and supplies with guests from other households.

* Provide adequate equipment for patrons and swimmers, such as kick boards and pool noodles, to minimise sharing to the extent possible, or limit use of equipment by one group of users at a time and cleaning and disinfecting between use. Operators unable to maintain the strict cleaning regimes, must not provide these equipment.

* Operators will need to provide all their staff with training on safety, hygiene and social distancing protocols

* All staff and guests/visitors/trainers must go through temperature screening before entering the pool. Anyone with temperature equal to or more than 37.5˚C should not be allowed to enter the pool.

* Guests and visitors with underlying medical conditions, respiratory illness, or chronic diseases must also not enter the swimming pool area.

* All swimming pools and public aquatic venues administration must dedicate an isolation room, and set procedures to handle Covid-19 suspected/confirmed cases as per Dubai Health Authority guidelines. If the swimming pool is within a facility that has an isolation room, then the current isolation room is sufficient.

* Visitors and pool users should maintain 2m social distancing at all times, both inside and outside the pool. Members of a single group – up to five members – can be seated together, while maintaining 4m social distancing between two groups.

* Operators should maintain capacity in the pool to one person per 4 square meters. The capacity signage should be placed at the entrance.

* Children must be supervised by an adult at all times to ensure social distancing in their designated pool.

* Pool staff, trainers and visitors must wear face shield or mask at all times, but shall remove it during activities which requires body and face submersion, i.e. during swimming sessions inside the pool.

“If operators are unable to maintain the strict cleaning and sanitisation regimes and social distancing rules, then these facilities must be closed,” the statement said.

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