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Berlin: Public Outdoor Swimming Pools to Open, Kids May Enter For Free

Eleven of Berlin’s public outdoor pools are ready to rumble. They will reopen on Friday, May 21st, 2021. Of course, Corona rules apply. Children up to 12 years of age enter free of charge.

Berlin, May 18th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Ready, steady, go! Employees at several public outdoor swimming pools in Berlin are working overtime right now. Their motivation is to get everything ready for the reopening which is supposed to take place this Friday. The Berlin Senate did not give them too much time to prepare, meaning the decision was just taken. Still, the state-owned company ‘Berliner Bäder-Betriebe’ (BBB) is determined to be ready to go on time.

Exceeding Expectations

Earlier today, Berlin’s Interior and Sports Senator Andreas Geisel and BBB’s CEO Johannes Kleinsorg announced the good news at the ‘Sommerbad Humboldthain’. In German, the word ‘Bad’ is not as bad as it sounds. It stands for ‘bath’ or ‘swimming pool’. What ‘Sommer’ stands for should be obvious. ‘Humboldthain’ is the park the pool is located in. This afternoon, an underwater robot was cleaning the rather large main pool by moving back and forth on its ground.

Senator Geisel (in the foreground) and CEO Kleinsorg announced the reopening of 11 public pools. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

On one of the lawns, a make-shift changing area consisting of a few construction site fences was set up. Until today, nobody knew the Germans are this good at improvising. When the mission is to make sure people do not get too close to each other because of the virus, they will obviously exceed expectations. The official changing rooms and the indoor showers will remain closed. ‘Sommerbad Humboldthain’ is a little old-fashioned, and it might need a renovation soon, but it is a nice pool in a great area.

Pools vs. Lakes

Senator Geisel broke the good news. The Berlin Senate knows what the city’s children and families have gone through since Corona started messing it all up early last year. Free entry for all kids up to 12 years of age is supposed to cheer people up a little. Geisel said he was glad the go-ahead for the reopening of those pools could be given, because the number of new Corona infections was decreasing. The numbers are still higher than a year ago, when the pools opened in spite of the pandemic as well. But the Senate saw several reasons to make it happen again anyway. For instance, less Berliners will go to Brandenburg to gather at the province’s lakes. These days, adhering to contact restrictions at a public swimming pool in Berlin is a lot healthier than meeting too many people in Brandenburg.

The ‘Sommerbad Humboldthain’ may not be new, but it is a great place anyway. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

“We are glad to be able to do what we are here for”, BBB’s Johannes Kleinsorg said earlier today. On Friday, he and his staff will be opening the following eleven public outdoor pools:

  • Kindersommerbad Platsch
  • Kombibad Gropiusstadt
  • Kombibad Seestrasse
  • Kombibad Spandau Süd
  • Sommerbad Humboldthain
  • Sommerbad am Insulaner
  • Sommerbad Kreuzberg
  • Sommerbad Neukölln
  • Sommerbad Pankow
  • Sommerbad Wilmersdorf
  • Strandbad Wannsee

Early Birds

Thanks to Corona, things will be a little complicated. Just going to the pool and jumping into the water is not possible this year. Up to five tickets per person may be purchased online. No tickets will be available on site because there are not supposed to be any waiting lines. For 3.80 Euro per person, people will get time slots during which they may stay at the pool. Thirty minutes before the time slot ends, they have to get out of the water. A special time slot for early birds who insist on swimming in the morning, before they smoke their first Marlboro, will be available. Tickets need to be purchased on this website (German only). They will be offered from Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, at 7:00 a.m. CEDT.

There are no sharks or killer whales at ‘Humboldthain’. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Visitors above 7 years of age also need a negative Corona test from up to 24 hours before, or a document which proves they got both Corona vaccination shots at least 14 days prior to their visit. Former Corona patients who were infected up to 6 months ago may enter as well, if they can prove it. By the way: All slides and diving platforms will remain closed because distancing remains important. But playgrounds will open. In the big pool, visitors are supposed to swim in circles. That way, they will not blow too many aerosols into each other’s faces. Until mid-June, all public outdoor swimming pools in Berlin will reopen. Amen.

By the way: The weather in Berlin is crappy these days. Forecaster say it will not improve anytime soon.

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