Rüngsdorf A long queue of visitors waited outside the Rüngsdorf Panorama outdoor pool in summer temperatures. Those who were already splashing around in the cool water, were truly lucky.
Leonie and Milena Musa make it through the check at the entrance. Now the two sisters are on their way to the water. "So far I find the conditions here are good. We have just kept our distance," Leonie says. Milena thinks it's a pity that only a limited number of people are allowed in the outdoor pool at the same time. "We would have liked to take friends with us." Leonie, on the other hand, is worried about her grandmother: "Our grandmother goes swimming here in all kinds of weather, but it's really hard for her to get tickets now.” The Bonn resident says it is more difficult for older people to buy tickets online than it is for younger people.
Christin Tröger and her friend have settled down in an area near the swimming pool. Tröger finds the new safety regulations sensible, but also sees room for improvement. "I like the limited number of visitors, but in the queue I had the impression that the guests don't always keep at a safe distance." On the other hand, Tröger likes the fact that there is more space than normal on the lawn area and in the water.
A family who has just been swimming shares this view. "The swimming experience is great and the children were also able to play in the water," says the father. The new rules are also ok. "When you go shopping, the rules are there, too." Daniel Georgeochieng and Klaudia Robak, however, find the rules useless. "In the water you run into other swimmers anyway", says Georgeochieng. And Robak adds: "In the water only a few people pay attention to distance.”
Two weeks of test mode under pandemic conditions
Birgit Schneider-Bönninger, head of the sports and arts department, has not yet observed this. "All employees and swimmers are super disciplined and stick to the rules," she praises. "We now have all pools in operation and the diving boards are also open," says Stefan Günther, head of the municipal sports department. He has already received positive feedback for the new concept from some of the guests today, says Günther.
The "Rüngsi" is the first outdoor swimming pool in Bonn to opens its doors. It is now in a two-week test mode under pandemic conditions. "We want to learn how our system works and where it might need to be adapted - for example, in the question of how people, especially older people, get tickets when they have no experience with the Internet," explains Schneider-Bönninger.
Tickets prices at the "Rüngsi"
On Wednesday, swimmers were given the opportunity to purchase tickets online. "The limited amount was quickly sold out," reports Günther. Adults pay 2.50 euros, children 1.50 euros, group tickets cost six euros. Season or day tickets, however, are not available. Tickets are only available when the buyer gives out his or her contact information.
A maximum of 500 people can be in the "Rüngsi" at the same time, so swimmers were given three blocks of time to choose from: Early swimmers come from 6:30 to 9 am - but only during the week, not on weekends and holidays. After that there are blocks from 10 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 7 pm. In the period of time between the swimming sessions, all swimmers have to clear out, at which point the changing rooms and shower areas are disinfected. In addition, visitors must be prepared to comply with all safety regulations: In waiting areas, and in front of the pool, mouth-nose covers must be worn.
Which rules are in effect at the outdoor pool
Adults need to keep a minimum distance of 1.50 meters, even in the water. The same rules apply for children here as they do on playgrounds. One cannot exclude contact, but should remain careful, said Günther. The danger of infection in the water, however, is low. "As far as we know, the virus isn’t supposed to be transmitted in water", he says. Swimmers can use the disinfectant dispensers which are placed in front of the cashier area, in the changing rooms and in the restrooms.
The individual changing rooms can be used, but communal changing rooms remain closed. "Also, not every locker is available." Showers and restrooms may only be used if the minimum distance is observed. The distance markings on benches, slides and diving platforms must be observed. Signs and notices also provide information about the rules of conduct.
The wave pool function in the Römer pool and the jet stream channel in the Panorama pool are not in operation. However, kiosks and restaurants may open in compliance with the infection prevention regulations.
When the other outdoor pools in Bonn will open
Following the opening of the "Rüngsi" the Römerbad, the Hardtbergbad, the Melbbad and the Freibad Friesdorf will all open from May 30. The Ennertbad in Beuel will not open until July 1 because the water pumps need repair. The outdoor pool season is expected to end on August 30, 2020, at which point the indoor pools will open. If the weather is fine, the outdoor part of the Hardtbergbad could remain in operation longer. Tickets are available here: www.bonn.de/baeder.
Orig. text: Niklas Schröder