From pool showers to salt and pepper shakers The new corona rules in NRW

Düsseldorf · Changes have been introduced by the Ministry of Health: There are now more concrete rules for restaurants, campsites - and for the first time, open-air swimming pools, where the minimum distancing rule also applies in the communal showers. Here is an overview of the new rules in NRW.

 The NRW Ministry of Health has determined new rules for swimming.

The NRW Ministry of Health has determined new rules for swimming.

Foto: dpa/Friso Gentsch

Swimming, eating out and camping during the corona pandemic: The NRW Ministry of Health has published new rules for open-air swimming pools, restaurants, hotels, gyms and hairdressers, among others. Minimum social distancing applies throughout, or if this is not possible, face masks must be worn. Here in more detail:


The new rules stipulate a limited number of bathers, constant minimum social distancing - also in the pool and showers - and face masks to be worn in closed rooms. Every visitor should also be registered. They must wash or disinfect their hands after entering the outdoor pool. The use of individual changing rooms is preferential; communal changing rooms are permitted, provided that a minimum distance of 1.5 m is maintained. Open-air pools may reopen from 20 May. On Thursday, the Panoramabad Rüngsdorf will be the first open-air swimming pool to open in Bonn.

The use of showers is permitted as long as minimum distancing is maintained. This applies to all areas of the swimming pool, including the pools - unless you live in the same household or are with a family friend. The classic outdoor pool kiosk with chips and ice cream is allowed to open – but self-service at the drinks’ machines is prohibited. All visitors should be registered with their arrival and departure times and the names and contact details must be kept for four weeks and then destroyed.


In addition to the current rules, the newly published "Hygiene and Infection Standards" include the possibility for guests to wear face masks when not at their table - for example, the minimum distance to other tables can then be waivered when going to the toilet. Salt and pepper shakers and toothpicks must not be left open on the table. As with the menus, these must be wiped off after use if handed out.


Hotels are allowed to open from Monday. The regulations state that face masks must be worn by employees who have direct contact with guests. “For shorter stays”, the room should be cleaned after departure and not every day. Everything in the hotel room - for example magazines or pens - must be cleaned at least after each change of guest.


For “close-to-face services and those where protective distances cannot be maintained,” employees must wear a special mask covering nose and mouth, “supplemented by protective goggles or a face shield.” Disposable gloves must be worn from the start of the service until after the hair has been washed.


The access rules at gyms are less strict than, for example, at open-air swimming pools: 7 square metres per customer are used as a benchmark rather than the 10 metres at open-air pools. On the other hand, “due to the respiratory load, any high-intensity endurance training (indoor cycling, HIIT and anaerobic threshold training) is prohibited”. In the city of Bonn, the rush to open fitness studios was limited. Gyms on the left side of the Rhine have also reopened.

(Original text: dpa, Translation: Caroline Kusch)

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