Indoor and outdoor pools may open. Hot tubs, spas, splash pads, spray pools, and interactive play features must remain closed. Pools must obtain a license (2020) (2021) from Arlington County before opening.
- Post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted in the establishment (See links to sample signage at the bottom of this page).
- Post signage to provide public health reminders regarding physical distancing, gatherings, options for high-risk individuals, and staying home if sick (See links to sample signage at the bottom of this page).
- Hot tubs, spas, saunas, splash pads, spray pools, and interactive play features, including slides, must remain closed. Lazy Rivers may operate if tubing is disinfected between uses and the facility can ensure physical distancing in the river feature.
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pools may be open at up to 75% occupancy (when the facility has a certificate of occupancy), provided ten feet of physical distance may be maintained between patrons not of the same household. Free swim is allowed.
- Swimming instruction and water exercise classes must be limited to allow all participants to maintain ten feet of physical distance where practicable. Parents or guardians may support a participant during class, and instructors may have contact with swimmers when necessary.
- Seating may be provided on pool decks with at least ten feet of spacing between persons who are not members of the same household.
- All seating (including lifeguard stations) must be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
- Employees working in customer-facing areas are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth, such as using CDC Use of Masks guidance. Lifeguards responding to distressed swimmers are exempt from this requirement.
- Provide hand sanitizing stations, including at the entrance/exit and where shared equipment is utilized.
- Facilities should screen patrons for COVID-19 symptoms prior to admission to the facility. Patrons should be asked if they are currently experiencing fever (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher) or a sense of having a fever, a new cough that cannot be attributed to another health condition, new shortness of breath that cannot be attributed to another health condition, new chills that cannot be attributed to another health condition, a new sore throat that cannot be attributed to another health condition, or new muscle aches that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity (such as physical exercise). Children should be screened per the CDC guidance for screening children. Anyone experiencing symptoms should not be permitted in the facility. Screenings should be conducted in accordance with applicable privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations.
Visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website for complete guidance on Phase 3.
Pools that choose to open must post the following signage:
- Signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted in the establishment
- Signage to provide public health reminders regarding physical distancing, gatherings, options for high risk individuals, and staying home if sick
For sample signs that meet these requirements, visit the “Signage Toolkits” section of the Virginia Department of Health’s Businesses webpage or see below.
Pools that Remain Closed
In most cases, it is safer and more cost effective to keep the pool running and balanced to prevent damage to the pool/equipment, mosquito breeding, biofilm, mold, algae, and other outbreaks.
- Due to a high-water table, do not drain pools to prevent them from popping out of the ground.
- Get the water circulating. If pumps are equipped with Variable Speed Drives, the speed can be turned down significantly, but it is important to keep circulating and filtering the water.
- Keep water balanced and chlorinated! Chlorine setpoints can be reduced to a minimal level (1-3 PPM). This is key to prevent mosquito breeding, biofilm, mold, and algae from forming.
- Turn off or lower the setpoint for heaters.
- Keep up on basic maintenance and repairs to prevent more expensive damage or issues.
Spas, Wading Pools, & Interactive Water Features that Remain Closed
- Small, shallow bodies of water can typically be safely drained. All plumbing lines, pumps, and especially filters should be drained of water to prevent biofilm and mold growth.
New Construction/Remodeling – Plan Review
The construction and operation of public swimming pools, spas and interactive water features in Arlington County must comply with Chapter 24.1, Water Recreation Facilities Ordinance of the Arlington County Code.
Plans for new or remodeled establishments must be submitted for review prior to construction.
- The owner, or his agent, must submit seven sets of plans to Building Inspection Services, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 1000.
- Building Inspection Services will forward a copy of the plans to the Environmental Health Program.
- There is a $160 plan review fee.
- Contact Building Inspection Services at 703-228-3800 with questions.
Public Pool Connections
- New public or commercial pools are required to be connected to the sanitary sewer system. Contact Arlington County’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, Inspection Services Division, at 703-228-3800 for information about swimming pool connections and requirements.
Applying for a License
A Health License is required for new water recreation facilities or whenever there is a change of ownership. The license must be renewed annually. Each Water Recreation Facility License Application (2020) (2021) must be accompanied by:
- An Electrical Inspection Form (2020) (2021) completed by a Master Electrician
- An application-processing fee of $400 for year-round pools, $200 for seasonal pools, and $100 for each additional body of water. Make checks payable to the Arlington County Treasurer and mail them to Environmental Health Program, 2110 Washington Blvd, Suite 350, Arlington, Virginia 22204.
- For renewals, submit the Pre-Opening Checklist and certify that all items will be in place and working properly prior to opening.
All swimming pools must have a certified lifeguard and person in charge on site during all hours of pool operation. The person in charge must be able to demonstrate his/her skills in the areas of water chemistry, hydraulics, microbiology, and other relevant areas related to the safe operation of public swimming pools and public spas.
Follow CDC Guidelines to ensure that you have a healthy swimming experience each and every time.