DC-area swimming pools reopen with restrictions

Miss lounging by the pool and sipping a frosty drink this summer? You may still get the chance, while observing coronavirus restrictions. Here’s what you need to know.

Many local government facilities had some closures or limited access due to stay-at-home orders and states of emergency, leading to the closures of recreation centers, parks, playground, swimming pools and others earlier during the season.

But as restrictions are eased, swimming pools and water attractions are starting to reopen.

Here are the statuses of swimming pools, water parks and splash parks in the area.


Under ReOpen DC guidelines, communal pools may only start to reopen on the third stage of reopening, with limited capacity and safeguards when there is sporadic transmission. This stage allows for a gathering of up to 250 people.

Department of Parks and Recreation pools will be able to open for what Bowser called “structured activities” such as lessons and lap swimming. A plan for what that should look like is in the works.


Anne Arundel County

Indoor pools may open starting June 19 at 5 p.m. Outdoor pools must be inspected before they can open.

Charles County

Outdoor pools may expand capacity to 50% in accordance with safety protocols. Only the La Plata Outdoor pool is open at this time.

Carroll County

Indoor and outdoor public pools are allowed to open with restrictions. Splash pads, wading pools and lazy rivers are still closed.

The Westminster Municipal Pool will not open for the 2020 pool season.

Howard County

Outdoor pools have been allowed to open since May 29. All indoor pools and aquatic centers may open on June 19 at 5 p.m. at 50% capacity and other social distancing and health guidelines.

Montgomery County 

Montgomery County Recreation’s seven outdoor pools and three indoor aquatic centers are open starting July 6 as part of the county’s Phase Two reopening. They’ll be open to pass holders only.

Indoor aquatic centers are only open for lap swimming for two-hour sessions, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Outdoor pools have two-hour recreational swimming sessions between noon and 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Before you hop into the water, a reservation is needed. Make one online here.

Pool time will look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Face coverings are not needed when in the water but are encouraged everywhere else. Family groups should stay together and maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

Crossing features, saunas, hot tubs and the lazy river will stay closed, as will fitness rooms in aquatic centers. There also won’t be access to any of the wading pools or shared equipment.

Pool goers are being asked to minimize their time in opened locker rooms, and encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets to outdoor pools.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Indoor Aquatic Center will remain closed as it undergoes renovations.

Visit the Montgomery County Recreation website for more info.

Prince George’s County

Outdoor pools opened to the public on July 1. Indoor facilities, splash pads, wading pools, slides and other features remain closed.

Reservations are required.


As a part of the state’s Phase Three reopening plan, indoor and outdoor swimming pools may be open at up to 75% capacity.

Free swimming is allowed, and people who are not from the same household must maintain 10 feet of physical distance.

Swimming instruction must be limited to allow participants 10 feet of physical distance as well. Parents or guardians may support a participant during class, and instructors may have contact
with swimmers when necessary.

Seating is also allowed on the pool deck with 10 feet of space between chairs.

Hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools and interactive play features will continue to be closed for Phase Three.

Read the rest of the guidelines here starting on p. 21.

Arlington County

Under Phase Three, swimming pools may open to both indoor and outdoor exercise, diving and swim instruction at 75% percent capacity

Ocean Dunes Waterpark, operated by NOVA Parks, will not be opening for the 2020 season.

The county has three public indoor pools that are managed by Arlington Public Schools. In a letter, the schools system said that it anticipates opening its pools in mid-July. You can find the latest updates in APS Aquatics website.

Fairfax County

Indoor and outdoor swimming pools may be open for recreational purposes at 75% capacity as well as lap swimming, diving, exercise and instruction.

This applies to all community pools, including those operated by apartment and condominium complexes, rec centers, homeowner’s associations and swim clubs.

The county’s Park Authority announced that two of its water attractions — Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole in Reston and Our Special Harbor Spray Ground in Alexandria — will not open this summer. The Martin Luther King Jr. outdoor pool in the Alexandria section of the county is also closed.

Read the rest of the county’s guidelines here.

Loudoun County

Starting July 1, outdoor pools are open at 75% of minimum occupancy or 250 persons, whichever is less or necessary to maintain required physical distancing. Reservations are required.

Outdoor and indoor pools are open for recreational swimming and lap swimming with no more than two persons per lane and ten feet of physical distance per swimmer. Reservations are required.

Indoor leisure pool features (slide, vortex, hot tub, etc.) and the Franklin Park Pool splash pad and play features (slide, dump buckets, etc.) will remain closed in Phase 3.

Prince William County

County-owned outdoor pools and water parks will not open during the 2020 summer season.

Spokesman Brent Heavner cites the inability to train and prepare seasonal staff in time due to ongoing social distancing as a barrier to opening.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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