The Hampstead Heath swimming ponds and Parliament Hill lido might be back next month.
The date July 4 is more commonly associated with our pals across the Atlantic, but it’s taking on a lot of significance in the UK in 2020. For July 4 has been given as the provisional date when the UK government will move to “Step 3” of the lockdown easing, and allow the likes of outdoor bars and restaurants to reopen, permit overnight stays, and let us all get a haircut again. Whilst this is obviously still up in the air (and contingent on continuing reductions in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths), you might be able to add swimming to that list, as the Hampstead Heath ponds could reopen on July 4.
Per multiple reports, the City of London Corporation is making plans to reopen the ponds next month, in a move that would delight Londoners desperate for a dip in the face of oncoming warm weather. Plans would see specialist training for lifeguards that would be adapted for the age of social distancing, additional cleaning of facilities, and a booking system that would limit the number of swimmers. The Parliament Hill Lido, meanwhile, would see a one-way swimming system come into effect, and showers in the changing rooms will remain closed. Of course, this is all predicated on the rules allowing such frivolity come July 4, so keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best!
Also published on Medium.