Open-air swimming pools in Germany are beginning to reopen from today, as virologists say they are confident the coronavirus will be killed off by chlorine levels in the water.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 745 to 176,752, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.
The reported death toll rose by 57 to 8,147, the tally showed.
Authorities in the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia have granted the 340 lidos in the region to open their doors from today as long as they abide by new hygiene rules that include an online-only booking system and a daily cap of visitors.
In Berlin, swimming pools are set to open from 25 May, while other states will follow suit in June.
“All existing findings indicate that the virus is certain to be killed off by chlorine”, the German Society for Bathing said in a statement. “Therefore there is no higher risk of infection in swimming pools than in other establishments”.
“In indoor and outdoor swimming pools the virus will be killed off by the chlorine”, virologist Jürgen Rissland told regional broadcaster Saarländischer Rundfunk. The risk areas at lidos where therefore not in the water but the adjacent facilities.
Berlin is therefore planning to open its outdoor swimming pools without showers and changing rooms, advising visitors to arrive at the pool in their swimwear.