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Open water venues encouraged to give feedback on new safety guidance

Open water venues are being encouraged to contribute to new safety guidance being published following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Swim England, British Triathlon and the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) have drawn up an interim document for the safe use of open water venues.

Operators can give their feedback on the guidance during an online meeting on Wednesday 20 May from 2pm.

People can book their place at the meeting by emailing

The interim guidance – which is available at – includes advice on:

  • Water quality
  • Insurance
  • Booking in swimmers
  • How to ensure social distancing is maintained
  • Equipment
  • Venue staff
  • Medical support
  • Plus post-swim tips for swimmers

George Wood, Swim England Sport Development Director, said: “We are pleased to be working with British Triathlon and RLSS UK to produce this interim guidance.

“We hope this will allow venues to consider all of the pertinent issues in relation to operating an open water venue during this pandemic.

Clear and detailed advice

“This is a difficult time for everyone and we’re having to adapt our procedures which is why we would appreciate operators giving their feedback on this guidance.”

Helen Marney, Director of Development at British Triathlon said: “We are pleased to publish our interim guidance for open water swimming venues in England in partnership with Swim England and RLSS UK, which supplements our guidance to open water swimmers published earlier this week.

“We are working together to provide clear and detailed guidance to enable all venues wanting to open to do so in the safest way possible.

“We are also proud to be able to have made our open water venue accreditation scheme, SH2OUT, free throughout 2020. The scheme offers swimmers the assurance that the venue has met a number of criteria to provide a safe environment for them to swim in.”

Lee Heard, RLSS UK Charity Director, said “It was certainly welcome but initially concerning news that open water swimming could return so quickly.

“We have great minds across three aligned organisations working to get people out swimming again but in a safe, well researched and considered way.

“We welcome the patience and contribution of the sector to support a safe return to swimming.”