OTTAWA -- The City of Ottawa's swimming pools and wading pools are set to open for the summer, but you'll need to reserve a spot to take a dip during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wading pools will open in a phased approach, with the first group of pools opening on July 6 and the second group on July 13. The indoor and outdoor swimming pools will start opening the week of July 6, with additional pools opening the following weeks.

The city says swims at indoor and outdoor pools will be scheduled in one-hour sessions, and swimmers can reserve a spot the day of at the pool through a phone call to help limit capacity. 

Swimmers are being asked to arrive at the pools in their swimsuits, and wear a face mask while walking through the facility. Saunas, steam rooms, diving boards and water slides will remain closed at the pools.

Wading pools

The City of Ottawa says admission to the wading pools will be reduced to allow for physical distancing.

Visit the City of Ottawa's website for a list of open swimming pools.

Indoor and outdoor pools

The city says the number of swimmers will be "significantly reduced" for both public and lane swims to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.

Swims will be scheduled in one-hour sessions with fifteen-minute blocks between sessions to allow staff to manage the number of people entering and exiting the facility. Swimmers will receive a wrist band with their reserved time and date at the pool.

The city says on the day of the swim you would like to attend, call the facility to reserve your space. Spots will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis.  For early morning swims, you can call after 7 p.m. the evening before to reserve your spot. 

Information regarding the online reservation process for public and lane swims will be announced on the City of Ottawa's website.

The city says staff and swimmers will be required to complete a self-assessment for COVID-19 symptoms before being allowed into the pool. 

COVID-19 measures

The City of Ottawa says to help reduce the risk of COVID-19, measures and protocols will be in place at pool facilities:

  • One entry and exit point, with a staff member ensuring physical distancing is followed
  • Swimmers at outdoor pools will enter and exit through the gate and not through the facility
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, high-touch surfaces, change room and washroom facilities, and lifejackets
  • Saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, diving boards, rope swings, and water slides will be closed
  • Parents or guardians who are not accompanying their child in the pool for swimming lessons are encouraged to wait outside the facility
  • Directional flow of swimmers around the outside of the pool for entering and exiting the swimming area
  • Washrooms will have every second sink and urinal closed
  • Hand sanitizers will be located in central areas for both clients and staff

Tips for swimmers

The City of Ottawa has tips for swimmers to protect themselves from COVID-19:

  • Shower at home before going to the pool
  • Wear the bathing suit to the pool
  • Practice personal COVID-19 hygiene – washing or sanitizing hands, staying home when exhibiting any symptoms
  • Keep a distance of two metres from other swimmers and staff
  • Wear a mask while walking in the facility