Pools Stay Open, Keeping Us Afloat

Vala Hafstað

Residents of Reykjavík and vicinity woke up to the good news this morning that their swimming pools had reopened. They were closed yesterday, while plans were being made regarding how to comply with the ban on public gatherings that took effect yesterday, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Luckily, pool officials found a way to keep the nation afloat.

Here is how they do it: steam baths and saunas will be closed, as well as slides and some hot tubs, while the pools remain open.

Iceland Monitor called Laugardalslaug swimming pool this morning and was told that their hot tubs will remain open, but that only two people will be allowed in each tub at a time to ensure the mandatory two-meter distance between guests.

This, of course, will limit the nation’s ability to discuss the problems at hand – a discussion that has been extremely lively in recent weeks – but, on the other hand, it will still do us good to be able to share our thoughts with that one person sitting opposite to us.

“The tub is your pub,” a clever visitor from Belfast once pointed out. It’s where we gather to share our views and worries, discuss current affairs and find solutions to society’s problems. With only two people in the tub at a time, finding the solutions will take longer, but we’ll get there anyway. All it takes is some patience.

Luckily, the Reykjavík Family Park and Zoo will remain open as well, although there won’t be refreshments for sale. Neighborhood ski lifts will be open, weather permitting, as will ski areas in the vicinity of the capital area. There will be some restrictions regarding numbers of people and distance between them. Ski rentals and restaurants in ski areas will be closed. The areas will not be open to groups of students.

The Nauthólsvík Geothermal Beach will be closed, since it only has one hot tub and narrow locker rooms, making it impossible to keep a two-meter distance.

Although the Laugardalur Ice Arena won’t be open to the public, practices will be organized in accordance with instructions from health officials.

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