Charlton Lido has become reopened its sparkling pool for the first time since lockdown began today, joining Hampstead Heath and other national favourites in opening up their swimming facilities to the public.

This follows the Government's announcement allowing pools, gyms, and outdoor gigs to reopen from Saturday, July 11, but despite this, the majority of swimming pools have been forced to stay closed after the news came with no prior warning.

Charlton Lido in south east London tweeted earlier this morning saying "the day had finally arrived," and shared pictures of its inviting blue waters, filled with swimmers for the first time in months.

The pool, run by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL), is welcoming a small number of guest swimmers on Saturday ahead of a general opening to the public from Monday.

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Mark Sesnan, the "delighted" CEO of GLL, said the staff were "itching to come back."

"It's one of the few places in London that's open for outdoor swimming."

Mr Sesnan added that everything from pre-booking, pool capacity and sanitisation had been thought through to make sure it was safe for swimmers.



They have joined the Heath's Ladies', Men's and Mixed Bathing Ponds as well as the Parliament Hill Fields Lido will initially be limited to early morning sessions as the City of London Corporation tests new safety procedures.

Hampstead Heath's four outdoor swimming facilities will reopen with a new online booking system following Government guidelines about outdoor pools announced on Thursday.

But Everyone Active, which manages five outdoor pools on behalf of local authorities in Plymouth, Hemel Hempstead, Stroud and Ashby-de-la-Zouche, said its facilities will be among those remaining shut.

A spokeswoman for Everyone Active, said: "We are aware of the Government announcement yesterday, which confirmed outdoor pools can reopen from July 11.

"We had no prior warning of the announcement date, and therefore we are discussing with our respective local authority partners the arrangements for reopening at the moment.

"We will be in touch with customers soon to confirm the details and the date for reopening of all our facilities."

Mark Sesnan of Greenwich Leisure Limited said he is "delighted" about the reopening of Charlton Lido.

"We've been closed for nearly four months and like our regular customers, our staff have been itching to get back open.

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"Charlton Lido is a hugely popular community venue that celebrated its 81st birthday this year. We've got customers who came on the first day it opened.

"Of course, while swimming is one of the safest leisure activities because chlorine kills the Covid, we do have safety top of mind.

"Everything - from pre-booking to restricted volumes to sanitisation - has been carefully thought through to give customers total confidence to get back in the water.

"And with double lanes and a maximum of 12 people per lane at any one time - it's going to make for much more space for your swim and a hugely enjoyable experience."