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What are the Covid-19 rules for Swiss swimming pools and fitness centres?

What are the Covid-19 rules for Swiss swimming pools and fitness centres?
Rules apply to public swimming pools in Switzerland. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP
Public pools are re-opening in Switzerland, and fitness facilities have been operating for a few weeks. Here’s an overview of the regulations currently in place for both.

From Monday, April 19th, the Federal Council relaxed a number of coronavirus rules.

They include the re-opening of outdoor seating areas for restaurants and bars, along with gyms and fitness centres, as well as halls for team sports.

Some public swimming pools have also been re-opening in past days, under strict rules.

READ MORE: Switzerland to ease Covid restrictions from Monday

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) has set the following capacity and other restrictions for indoor and outdoor pools.

Indoor:

  • Each person must have an unencumbered surface of 25 square metres for swimming.
  • No more than 15 swimmers are allowed in the pool at the same time.
  • No masks are required in the water if the above conditions are met. However, they must be worn throughout the facility until the swimmer is in the pool.
  • The facility must have “adequate” ventilation system

Outdoor:

  • Each person must have a free 10-square-metre surface available for swimming.
  • No masks are required in the pool if distances are maintained.
  • Outside of pool, the mask requirement is the same as for all crowded outdoor areas: they must be worn “if the concentration of people does not allow the necessary distances to be respected.”
  • Whether swimming outside or in, same rules apply to eating: it is only allowed, as elsewhere in Switzerland, on the restaurant terrace, after contact details of each person have been collected.

These are the federal rules, but not all cantons or even municipalities interpret them the same way, according to Switzerland-wide swimming pools information portal.

 “In some pools, only swimming is allowed, no diving, chilling out or sunbathing. In others, a general mask requirement applies up to the edge of the pool”, the portal says.

Your canton and /or town will be able to provide latest information for your specific area.

What about fitness centres?

Fitness Schweiz, the umbrella organisation for Switzerland’s fitness centres has established the following rules, in effect from April 19th:

  • In fitness centres, a full mask requirement applies and the required distance must be observed.
  • In the presence of persons exempted from the obligation to wear a face mask, either the required distance (at least 25 square metres) must be respected, or other effective protective measures, such as the installation of barriers, must be taken.
  • Only one person, including employees, can be present per 10 square metres of usable space.
  • A maximum of 80 percent of equipment may be used in the training area.
  • Each centre is required to calculate the maximum number of people who are simultaneously in the facility to indicate this in the protection plan. This and all other measures such as markings on the ground must ensure that the required distance can be guaranteed at all times between the athletes during their training, and that the formation of groups of more than 15 people can be avoided.
  • Changing rooms and wardrobes may be subject to a limit compliance ,with the distance rules of 1.5 metres, as well as the obligation to wear a mask if the distance can be maintained.
  • The safety distance of two metres must also be guaranteed in showers. When there are partitions, the use of showers is not a problem. Where there is an open shower area, every other shower must be closed. But members is advised to change and shower at home.

You can see more rules (in German, French or Italian) here.

Reader question: What are the current rules for gyms and fitness centres in Switzerland?


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