Although not yet peer-reviewed, the findings from this new study suggest that the likelihood of transmitting the virus in a swimming pool is extremely low.
The study, which was jointly commissioned by swimming governing body Swim England, the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) and infant swimming company Water Babies
The revelations come as indoor swimming pools – including Everyone Active’s 120+ pools nationwide – reopened on 12th April as part of the Government’s lockdown-easing roadmap. Swim England Chief Executive Jane Nickerson hailed the results as “fantastic news”.
Covid Does not Survive
Imperial College’s research established that water that was in line with current guidance for swimming pools on both chlorine levels and pH (acidity) was extremely effective at reducing the infectivity of the virus. In fact, it was reduced by more than 1000 fold in just 30 seconds.
Professor Wendy Barclay, Imperial College, said: “We performed these experiments at our high containment laboratories in London.
“Under these safe conditions, we are able to measure the ability of the virus to infect cells, which is the first step in its transmission.
“By mixing the virus with swimming pool water that was delivered to us by the Water Babies team, we could show that the virus does not survive in swimming pool water: it was no longer infectious.
“That, coupled with the huge dilution factor of virus that might find its way into a swimming pool from an infected person, suggests the chance of contracting Covid-19 from swimming pool water is negligible.”
Jane said: “We’re delighted to have played a key role alongside Imperial College London, Water Babies and RLSS UK in this world-first piece of research.
“These findings suggest the risk of transmission from swimming pool water is low, and adds to the evidence that swimming pools can be safe and secure environments if appropriate measures are taken.
“With indoor pools being allowed to reopen on Monday 12 April, it’s fantastic news for the operators, our members and clubs who take part in all our amazing sports, recreational swimmers and those who rely on the water to stay physically active.
“The findings confirm the guidance we have issued to operators is correct and will give everyone returning to the water peace of mind that they are doing so safely.”
Jacqui Tillman, Everyone Active’s Group Swimming Manager said of these results: “This is great news for everyone involved with swimming across the country.
We’re so pleased to welcome back thousands of swimmers into our pools. Whether they’re lane swimming, enjoying our award-winning swim lessons or just having fun in the water, it’s great to be back and this research vindicates our confidence in the safety of our pools.”