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Hampstead Heath bathing ponds to stay closed

Closure will continue during the coronavirus lockdown

12 May, 2020

The ponds before the coronavirus crisis

THE bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath will stay closed beyond the government’s end to lockdown limits on outdoor exercise, it has been confirmed.

The City of London, which manages the Heath, said today (Tuesday): “In line with the new government guidance we will not be reopening the bathing ponds and Lido at this time as there is currently no way to operate these facilities while adhering to social distancing measures keeping staff and swimmers safe. When this changes we will let you know.”

The issue of outdoor swimming rippled through social media over the weekend when Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby included “swimming in an outdoor pond” on a list of things she said people would be able to do when limits on exercise activities are scrapped from tomorrow (Wednesday).

This, however, it has now been announced will not include the popular freshwater swimming on the Heath.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously said that people should only carry out one form of exercise per day during the coronavirus lockdown, but he relaxed these rules in an announcement on Sunday evening. The government has cleared people to play tennis or golf under the new guidelines.

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