Health publishes a protocol for the preparation of swimming pools against COVID-19

The Ministry of Health has just published a protocol whose objective is to establish basic security measures to ensure the health of citizens in swimming pools. This document, agreed upon with the autonomous communities and the sector that manages this type of establishment, will enter into force only and exclusively when the Transition Plan towards a new normality establishes that opening is possible.

An important aspect to take into account is the ventilation of closed spaces, such as changing rooms and bathrooms, medicine cabinet and technical rooms. Overcrowding and the absence of ventilation are factors that favor the transmission of the virus. It is thus recommended to open exterior doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. And, in the event that ventilation is provided through mechanical means, they must be kept in a good state of maintenance, cleanliness and adequate degree of disinfection.

In addition, it is essential that a thorough cleaning is carried out before disinfecting all the furniture (glass, ropes, stainless steel ladders, showers, walls, lockers, etc.), and paying special attention to the contact surfaces more Frequent as faucets, railings, or door knobs. The protocol draws attention to the fact that disinfection is ineffective if the surface has not previously been devoid of dirt that can serve as a refuge for microorganisms.

Likewise, it is urged that, in addition to this document, a specific protocol be available that responds to the specific characteristics of each installation. In general, do not forget aspects such as that you should use single-use cloths and materials or proceed to clean and disinfect them properly. Regarding disinfectants, dilutions of freshly prepared 1:50 bleach or any of the disinfectants with virucidal activity that are on the market and that have been authorized and registered by the Ministry of Health may be used.

The water in the glasses must have a physical and chemical purification process, renewal by adding make-up water and carrying out operational or routine controls. To eliminate the virus, the treatment and residual disinfection levels in the water must be correctly maintained.

The hospitality establishments that are located in the pool must follow the protocols corresponding to this sector. And, sports facilities and playgrounds may not be used until this is established in the appropriate phase of de-escalation.

Capacity and access control

It is proposed as a restrictive measure of gauging at least doubling the surface per person in outdoor spaces and tripling it in covered spaces. These measures are indicative and depending on the configuration of the pool and the public area, more restrictive measures may be established to ensure social distancing.

It will be the lifeguard or the personnel designated by the manager of the installation, responsible for supervising the number of bathers in each of the glasses and restricting access to them and in accordance with the legislation in force in each autonomous community.

For the entrance to the pool it is proposed to draw or place bands on the reception floor that mark the minimum distance between people of 2 meters to access the counter and the entrance.

In the event that the access barrier is a winch, it is preferable to have it lowered or touch it with clothing. And, if the installation allows it, it is recommended to use an entrance door and an exit door to try to avoid crossings as much as possible.

Other security measures

The protocol states that establishments must have systems for hand disinfection at the entrance and incorporate a shoe cleaning and disinfection system at the entrance, as well as recommending the use of exclusive footwear within the facility.

In addition, a plastic bag for disposable material will be made available to users that must be deposited conveniently closed in a garbage can (with lid and pedal) at the exit and payment by credit card or through mobile applications will be favored .

The importance of disseminating prevention messages through posters and / or public address is also emphasized. The signs will remind you of good public hygiene practices such as showering before entering the pool or washing bathing suits and towels, to eliminate all bacteria or viruses.

Measures in common areas

The pools must have a spatial distribution of at least 2 meters among users that will be marked on the ground. All personal items such as towels, cream cans, exclusive use shoes, backpacks, etc. they must remain within the established security perimeter and avoid contact with other users.

Cleaning and disinfection of bathing areas and transit areas should be carried out at least twice a day, with special emphasis on the most frequented areas such as changing rooms, toilets, lockers, showers and toilets.

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