Coronavirus: Pools, spas and saunas

It’s safe to assume that government guidelines on social distancing would mean that public spas, pools and saunas are not recommended, however the following may be useful for private owners.

Swimming pools.

When it comes to swimming pools, according to the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) and Public Health England, ‘it is generally safe to go swimming at this time as water and the chlorine within swimming pools will help to kill the virus’.

Of concern, though, is the interaction that pool users have with each other beyond the swimming activity. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is evolving and characteristics of the virus are still being determined.

Users of swimming pools should shower before and after bathing and to observe all the usual public hygiene practices.

Once again it is the hard surfaces that are found around the pool and the proximity of other people that pose a risk rather than the pool water.

People who are unwell or exhibiting symptoms of the virus should obviously not go swimming in public.

Private pool owners should pay particular care to pH and disinfectant levels.

You can read more from PWTAG here

Spas and hot tubs.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water when using spas and hot tubs.

Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection of spas and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Of course the virus may survive on surfaces around the spa and may be directly contagious among people sharing the hot tub.

Saunas & Steam rooms.

To date there has been no guidance published in this area however, the upper temperature range of a traditional dry sauna – around 90°C, 195ºF is hot enough to kill viruses.

As many saunas today are run at a lower temperature and steam rooms are typically much cooler and obviously more humid, these warm and humid conditions could allow the virus to thrive.

Once again, anyone who is showing signs of having the virus – coughing, high temperature, shortness of breath – should certainly avoid using a public sauna.