Is it safe to go swimming during the coronavirus outbreak?

Is it safe for children to swim during the coronavirus outbreak. (Getty Images)

While schools are not yet closed, many children’s after-school clubs and activities are currently being affected by coronavirus, leaving parents wondering if it is safe for them and their children to go swimming?

Surprisingly enough, swimming pools actually tend to be pretty germ-free thanks to the chemicals used in the water.

Information from Britain suggests that pool water will be unaffected by coronavirus germs.

The Pool Water Treatment and Advisory Group has issued an updated statement after consulting with Public Health England about the subject following many queries about the safety of pool use during the outbreak.

“We have checked with our national leads who confirm that coronavirus would be inactivated at the levels of chlorine used in swimming pools.

“Public Health opinion is that it is generally safe to go swimming at this time. Water and the chlorine within swimming pools will help to kill the virus.”

Limiting contact outside the pool

While that sounds reassuring, there are other health implications to consider when deciding whether to swim, including mixing with other pool-users. 

“Of concern, though, is the interaction that pool users have with each other beyond the swimming activity,” the statement continues.

“The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is evolving and the characteristics of the virus are still being determined.”

Swimming Australia has cancelled certain events out of fear of contamination but has not commented on the safety of sharing water.

Pool owners are also being asked to clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the pool environment, and making sure they are regularly cleansing areas used by the public.

New guidelines are aiming to keep swimmers safe. Photo: Getty Images

“Users of swimming pools are directed to shower before entering the pool to remove impurities typically found on bodies, and to shower on leaving the pool,” the statement reads.

The World Health Organization sets chlorination targets at a level much higher than is required to kill viruses like Covid-19.

It recommends a chlorination level of 15mg.min/litre – which is enough to kill most viruses.

The key, the pool experts say, is to ensure you and your children are practising excellent hygiene before, during and after your swimming session.

That means showering before and after swimming, disinfecting your hands after you’ve touched door handles or your locker and washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water when you get back home.

It could also be worth giving your child’s swimming goggles and swimming hat a thoroughly good clean too.

Coronavirus symptoms, and how they differ from those associated with colds and flu. (Yahoo UK)

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