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Opening of outdoor swimming pools: Swimming in a round-about fashion

Opening of outdoor swimming pools : Swimming in a round-about fashion

The outdoor pools have been open again since Saturday – including the Friesdorf and Hardtbergbad. At the end of the week, the Ennertbad should follow. The swimming friends are happy.

Since the Whitsun weekend, the outdoor pool in Friesdorf and the Hardtbergbad are open for sports. At the end of the week, the Ennertbad is to follow. However, the sunbathing lawns must remain closed. In addition, a visit is only possible with a current negative rapid test. Successively the remaining baths are to follow in the next weeks, announced the city administration.

Matina Webelhaus (51) and Silvia Kirsch (59) are enthusiastic swimmers. Already for the second time the Bonn women had been able to visit the Hardtbergbad on the Whitsun weekend. "We have been surprised by the good water temperature here. It runs wonderfully," they said. Still, Webelhaus said one would have to consider peak times when visiting. "Yesterday it was busy in the morning, so I came back later." To ease the pressure here, Kirsch would like to see the Römer Bad open as well. "That would be optimal," she said.

Stefan (40) and his daughter Frederike (6) had arrived on bicycles from the city center. "It's liberating to be able to go into the water again," the family man said, describing the outing. Despite the changeable weather, he said, it wasn't too cold in the water. "The water has a good sport temperature," Stefan reported. Only the closed sunbathing lawn was a hindrance for families, he said. "You come with bags, after all, and if you can't put them down, from an organizational point of view, it's a challenge.“

On Saturday, father and daughter had already tested out the "Friesi". Because of the longer cycling distance, they wish the Melbbad would reopen soon. "It is in a central location and has always been busy. That it should now remain closed is incomprehensible to me," said Stefan.

Despite cloudy skies, the joy is great

A swimmer doing her laps in the pool smiled into the cloudy sky. "I'm very happy to be able to swim here again after a long time," she said. "The water is a bit fresh at first, but when you get moving it's great," she said from Bonn. Despite cooler outside temperatures, 22 degrees had been measured in the water, Claudia Wiegand reported. The specialist employee for pool operations had been assigned to the city's regulatory service in the meantime because of the Corona pandemic. "It's very nice to be back in my actual job and to be able to work together with my colleagues," Wiegand said.

Meanwhile, Dennis Lewandowski (15) paused at the poolside in Friesdorf's outdoor pool. The student had traveled from Bornheim to swim a few laps after a long absence. "The water is pleasant and the swim feels cathartic," Lewandowski described. He wasn't discouraged by the changeable temperatures, "When you're moving, you hardly feel it." Katharine Leicht observed only happy swimmers over the weekend. "People are all excited. I think it's great that we're open again. We've had to wait a long time for this and it's a good sign for the season," said the manager of the Friesdorf outdoor pool.

Good numbers already until Sunday afternoon

According to the report, around 100 guests were on site by Sunday afternoon. "We are consistently well attended," Leicht said. However, the safety distances were kept without any problems and the bathers kept to the requirements, the manager emphasized. "It's working out well." To keep it that way, she said, the swimmer's pool has been divided into three "wide" lanes, on which swimmers must swim in a circular pattern. "For more athletic swimmers, we added a fast swim lane.“

All employees were surprised by the sudden openings, Leicht and Wiegand said. Stefan Günther, head of the Sports and Pools Office, commented that they received the general order from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday and then wanted to open as quickly as possible. "We had to come up with a suitable concept within a few days and see how we could implement it," said Günther, who was on site himself at the weekend. "My impression is very good. The bathers are satisfied and the rules seem to be well observed," observed the manager. The goal, he said, was to get back into operation immediately and create a basic offering for Bonn. "I believe that the longing for swimming is very high among the population," Günther explained the decision.

Pools were closed for half a year

For half a year, Bonn residents had to do without their outdoor pools. With falling incidence value, all baths are now to reopen successively. "By the end of next week, the Ennertbad will open," Günther announced. The Römerbad and the Rüngsdorfer Panoramabad are to follow when the incidence value is below 50. "If there are further relaxations and thus full operation is possible again, so that the sunbathing lawns may be used," Günther elaborated. He added that one is dependent here on the regulations from the state of NRW.

The Melbbad will definitely remain closed this year, Günther confirmed. The head of the office does not believe that it could get a bit more crowded at the pool. "We have specified exactly how many people are allowed to be in the water at the same time so that the minimum distances can be maintained." A maximum of 120 bathers are currently allowed in the Hardtbergbad and 40 visitors in the Friesdorf outdoor pool. So far, the maximum capacity has not been reached at either pool, Günther said. "Compliance with these figures is very strictly controlled," he emphasized.

Move to full operation as soon as possible for the outdoor pool season

Looking ahead to the new outdoor pool season, Günther estimates that they will transition back to full operation as soon as possible, offering a good deal for families as well. "Outdoor pools are also important social gathering places. If the case numbers and the weather play along, then we will experience similarly good visitor numbers as last year, despite the pandemic." Last year, the city counted 400,000 swimmers. "I expect that we will at least reach that number again," Günther said.

Original text: Niklas Schröder

Translation: Mareike Graepel