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No Covid restrictions, cooler water: outdoor pool season starts

Kinder sitzen am Beckenrand in einem Freibad

In Berlin, the outdoor pool season starts this weekend. For the first time since 2019, the pools open again without Coronavirus restrictions.

Guests will have to adjust to lower water temperatures, sthe CEO of Berliner Bäder-Betriebe (BBB), Johannes Kleinsorg, said at a press conference with Sports Senator Iris Spranger on Monday (April 25, 2022) Kleinsorg and Spranger also presented the new contract which is to regulate the cooperation between pool operators and the state.

Three outdoor pools open this weekend

In 2022, the outdoor pools will open again without a time window. Tickets can be purchased spontaneously at the cash desks and online. A traffic light system will inform visitors about the utilization of the pools. Diving towers and slides, changing rooms and showers should all be open and usable again. The Wannsee Lido is already open, and the Sommerbad Olympiastadion, the Kombibad Spandau Süd and the Sommerbad Kreuzberg will open this weekend. From July, all pools in Berlin should be open.

Pool water gets cooler

As a result of the Ukraine war, pool operators want to save gas and are therefore turning down the heating in most pools. According to Kleinsorg, the water temperature in the summer pools will be set two degrees lower than usual. In the indoor pools, the temperature is to go down by one degree. This, he said, is a contribution to reducing dependence on Russian natural gas. According to a spokeswoman, the Mariendorf summer pool, which is heated entirely with solar energy, will be an exception.

Children's pool and therapy pool heated as usual

According to Kleinsorg, pool operators expect that guests will "hardly notice" the lower temperatures. Senator Spranger added that temperatures should not be lowered any further. Children's pools and therapy pools are excluded from the measure and will be heated as usual, she said.

New contract with Berliner Bäderbetriebe

According to the BBB, the operation and renovation of Berlin's outdoor and indoor pools will be regulated by the new pool contract over the next ten years. The state will pay for so-called water hours, i.e. times for swimming lessons, club sports and public swimming, instead of subsidizing operation as a lump sum, as has been the case in the past. This ensures that all costs are covered. In return, the state would receive the assurance that swimming times would not simply be eliminated during renovations.

Contract offers possibility for new investment projects

Every year, 146,000 of these water hours would be ordered. This year, the state of Berlin is providing 63.7 million euros for this purpose, and 66 million euros next year. According to the BBB, the contract also provides a basis for investment projects. One of the next major projects is the renovation of the wave pool at Spreewaldplatz, he said. Cost here: 42 million euros. Overall, the need for refurbishment up to 2030 was put at around 400 million euros.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 26 April 2022
Last updated: 26 April 2022

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