But the light at the end of the tunnel is coming fast: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued on Sunday a decree to prepare for the country’s exit from lockdown following the COVID-19 pandemic.
From May 4th, all athletes recognized as being of national interest by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) or Italian Paralympic Committee (CIP) can begin training. This applies to both professionals and amateurs. In either case, the training sessions must comply with the requirements regarding social distancing and other measures to contain the contagion.
On Monday, April 27th, the Italian Swimming Federation has published guidelines to encourage the reopening of gym and swimming pool in complete safety of facilities.
Federnuoto’s compendium “Emergency Covid-19” contains all the instructions and indications of the reopening of gym and swimming pools.
First, are specified the two phases of the reopening:
- PHASE 2A: starting from 4th May for athletes recognized as being of national interest in view of their participation in the Olympic Games or national and international events
- PHASE 2B: In a SUCCESSIVE STEP (presumably from 18th May), facilities will be reopened for users practicing basic sports activities, even with the restrictions and limitations.
GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING REGULATIONS
In order to allow the sporting activity and training of users, the facilities must observe the following guidelines:
- free chlorine concentrations between 0,7 and 1,5 mg/L in swimming pool water
- Changing rooms: make available the area of 5 square meters per person
- Gyms: 7 square meters per person
- WATER in step 2 A: at least 10 square meters for the training of athletes recognized as being of national interest in view of their participation in the Olympic Games or national and international events, starting from May 4th;
- WATER-STEP 2 B: at least 7 sq.m. per person for basic sports activities, presumably starting from 18th May.
The compendium also includes the criteria for cleaning, sanitation, and ventilation of the facilities that have laid empty for months, which could lead to the proliferation of other diseases like legionnaires or staph.
ACCESS TO SWIMMING POOLS
Users shall, before accessing the facilities:
- Declare that they have not been affected by COVD-19 disease and exposed to established, probable, or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- Have their body temperature measured (persons with a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5°C cannot access)
- Need to keep the mask on until they enter the pool and store it in disposable bag until just before the activity in the water and to wear it again at the end.
- The mask must also be kept on at all times by those accompanying the user (parents of children, for example).
- Users can’t spit, urinate, or blow their nose in the water.
- Use toilet facilities for these purposes before entering the water.