Spain holidays: Are swimming pools open in Spain?

Spain is one of the favoured holiday destinations for UK tourists, who enjoy summer breaks in its cultural centres such as Madrid and Barcelona, or on its seaside resorts of Lanzarote or Menorca. Traditional Spanish ventures include a dip in the ocean or round of sunbathing, but as coronavirus measures have lifted off, many beaches will be swarming with tourists and locals alike. As such, potential visitors will want to make sure they have another location where they can cool off in peace.

Are swimming pools open in Spain?

Spain repealed many of its coronavirus measures before the UK, having passed its infection peak early on despite a deadly wave.

The country opened its swimming pools over May and June this year, but with an array of restrictions in place.

People can enjoy swimming pools as long as they adhere to social distancing and capacity rules.

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When pools opened, bathers had to keep up to nine feet apart while swimming, and lifeguards only admitted people one at a time.

The Spanish National Research Council issued a report about swimming before officials allowed people to start once more.

They summarised the risks associated with swimming, and the paths authorities could take to reduce them.

They wrote: “In recreational activities, SARS-CoV-2 infection by contact with water from standard bathing conditions is highly unlikely.”

“However, these activities generally involve a loss of the recommended measures of social distancing.

“In swimming pools and spas, the use of disinfecting agents is activated in order to avoid microbial contamination of the waters by the influx of users and this measure should be sufficient to inactivate the virus.”

“Regarding seawater, although there are currently no data on the persistence of SARS-CoV-2, the dilution effect, as well as the presence of salt, are factors that probably contribute to a decrease in viral load and its inactivation by analogy to what happens with similar viruses.”

“However, the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in water from rivers, lakes, freshwater pools and untreated is superior compared to swimming pools and salt water and therefore, precautionary measures should be extreme to avoid agglomerations.”

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While swimming pools opened long ago in Spain, UK travellers will have to wait a little longer before they enjoy a holiday in the country.

The Government added Spain to its quarantine-free travel policy last week, which allows people to travel without self-isolating on return.

But the rules don’t come into effect until July 10, meaning potential holidaymakers still have to wait just under a week to jet abroad.

Even then, they will only be able to travel to a select number of countries.

Not amongst them is another British favourite, Portugal.

Portuguese Foreign Affairs Minister Augusto Santos Silva told the BBC their omittance was “senseless and unfair”.

He told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “We are very disappointed with the decision of the British authorities. We think it is senseless and unfair.

“It is quite absurd the UK has seven times more cases of Covid-19 than Portugal so we think this is not the way in which allies and friends are treated.”

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