Coronavirus: going swimming in summer is a risk?

Coronavirus: going swimming in summer is a risk?

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Is visiting swimming lakes and swimming pools a risk?

The corona virus pandemic also poses some new difficulties in planning for the summer. A simple visit to the outdoor pool raises the question of the risk of infection. You can find out more in a short fact check.

When it gets hot, people are drawn into the cool water. In times of Corona, the question arises: is it dangerous? The temperatures rise, the uncertainty remains: When the heat comes with the summer, the desire for cooling increases. Can I go to the outdoor pool, the swimming lake or the sea in Corona times?

claim: Given the risk of an infection with the corona virus, swimming in outdoor pools, lakes and seas is too dangerous.

rating: Swimming in itself is not a problem. However, visitors to beach or outdoor pools must observe the distance rules.

Facts: If you go to the swimming pool, the swimming lake or the sea, you should also exercise caution outside the water. Virologists' nightmare is towels lying side by side with people basking on them.

Water in indoor and outdoor pools is usually unproblematic

There is less risk of infection from the cool water itself than from direct contact between people. Scientists agree on this. There is little reason to worry if the pool water is treated and disinfected with chlorine in indoor and outdoor pools. The virus is “reliably inactivated,” says Christian Ochsenbauer, managing director of the German Bathing Association.

This is also confirmed by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA): “The water in conventional swimming pools (outdoor or indoor pools) is subject to constant treatment. (...) Filtration and disinfection are effective methods for inactivating registered microorganisms (e.g. bacteria and viruses). "

Baths without disinfectants pose a risk

Anyone visiting biological treatment pools such as swimming and bathing ponds should take a closer look. According to the Federal Environment Agency, they contain "no disinfectant, so such baths pose a certain risk of infection, to which bathers should generally be informed on site." The coronavirus is also detectable in the untreated wastewater, explains Janne Vehreschild, who works for the German Center for Infection research is leading a working group on risk factors at Covid-19. The expert: "It is not yet clear whether these quantities are sufficient for infection."

Natural waters harmless

In contrast, bathing and swimming in larger natural waters such as bathing lakes or in seas such as the North and Baltic Seas is harmless, according to the UBA. The risk of infection is extremely low due to the dilution in the water: "Rising water temperatures and increased sun exposure in summer will lead to an even greater inactivation of viruses that may have entered the water." The World Health Organization WHO has found no evidence that the coronavirus is above the Waterway will be transferred.

Basically, however, people with respiratory infections or diarrhea should not bathe in order not to endanger others, the UBA warns. This applies completely irrespective of which potential pathogens are involved. (fp; source dpa)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


  • Federal Environment Agency: Statement by the Federal Environment Agency Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and visit to swimming or bathing pools or swimming or bathing ponds (12.03.2020),

Video: Whats The Risk Of Getting COVID-19 From Having People Over To Swim? (October 2022).