When will swimming pools open in 2021? Date indoor and outdoor facilities could reopen in England after lockdown

Going for a dip at the local pool could be back on the cards in a matter of weeks – here’s everything you need to know

The Prime Minister has set out his four-stage plan to ease England’s coronavirus restrictions.

But when will you be able to go for a swim at the local pool again?

Here is everything you need to know.

Indoor pools will be able to open from 12 April in England, though social distancing measures and limits will still be in place (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

When will outdoor swimming pools reopen in England?

If all goes to plan, Boris Johnson said “limited changes” will be made on Monday 29 March.

This includes the reopening of open air swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts and other outdoor sports facilities, and that date will also see the return of formally organised outdoor sports, which will be able to resume subject to guidance.

Telling MPs ”It’ll become possible to meet in limited numbers outdoors where the risk is lower” on this date, Johnson also said the rule of six will return outdoors, including in private gardens.

Outdoor pools - like Parliament Hill Lido in London will be able to open from 29 March under the Government's lockdown roadmap (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

"Outdoor meetings of two households will also be permitted on the same basis,” he added, “so that families in different circumstances can meet.”

Outdoors, the rule of six and two household requirements will be lifted no earlier than Monday 17 May, although gatherings of more than 30 people will remain illegal.

In its road map out of lockdown, the Government said: “Opening outdoor sports settings will help to reduce the adverse physical and mental health effects experienced by large parts of the population, in particular children and those living alone.

“Physical activity is also known to help with improving mental health through better sleep, happier moods, and managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and ‘racing’ thoughts.”

When will indoor swimming pools reopen in England?

However, it will be slightly longer of a wait for those not willing to brave the unpredictable water temperatures of their local lido.

Indoor pools will have to wait until the formal introduction of “step two” on Monday 12 April to visit an indoor pool. This is the date that gyms and indoor leisure centres in England can reopen, the Government has said.

It will only be permitted to visit such fitness facilities alone or within household groups, and the Government added it will update its Covid-secure guidance to advise businesses on improving fresh air flow indoors and carrying out regular testing.

It may not be that you will be able to visit the pool with another household until Monday 21 July at the earliest; this is when it is hoped that all legal limits on social contact will be removed.

Bosses of the UK’s biggest gym chains warned last week that without the announcement of planned reopening, the nation’s physical and mental health could deteriorate.

Chief executive of industry group ukactive Huw Edwards said: “We welcome the news that gyms, pools and leisure centres feature in the earliest stage possible for reopening indoor venues, providing vital clarity for thousands of our members and a long-awaited boost for millions of their customers.

“The decision to reopen fitness and leisure facilities in stage two underlines the role they play in our nation’s social fabric and in supporting the NHS, providing an essential service for the mental and physical health of millions.”