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City pools to reopen next Friday for lap swim only, with new guidelines

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City pools will reopen next Friday for lap swimming only, with new physical distancing guidelines and procedures in place, according to the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation.

All pools are expected to reopen with regular schedules, except for three that are currently closed for maintenance at Waialua, Waipahu and Pearl City district parks. The city said schedules are largely determined by available staff, including pool lifeguards.

“While our healthcare officials have determined that pools are relatively safe concerning the spread of COVID-19, we still want to be cautious and keep public health as our top priority,” said DPR Director Michele Nekota in a news release. “The procedures for pool usage are modeled after how we regulate other high demand facilities, such as tennis courts, so we appreciate pool users as they adapt to these new procedures.”

The new guidelines include the following:

>> Only lap swimming within designated lanes will be allowed.

>> Pools will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. If demand exceeds capacity, pool staff will operate a waiting list. Pool users must be present to be added to the waiting list.

>> Swimmers should wear a face covering when entering and leaving pool facilities.

>> Only one person per lane is allowed, even if individuals are from the same household.

>> Lane lines will be distanced six feet apart, and some lines will be reoriented in order to accommodate more swimmers.

>> Pool users will be limited to one hour of pool facility access, including rinsing time, unless no one else is waiting. This allows more swimmers to safely enjoy pools, and gives staff opportuniteis to sanitize frequently touched surfaces.

A list of city pools and phone numbers is available here.

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