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 from Arlington County before opening.
- Post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, a positive diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the prior 10 days, 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, except water slides, must be closed. Facilities that operate water slides must ensure physical distancing of at least 10 feet between patrons who are not Family members as defined in Fourth Amended Executive Order 72 while waiting in line to use the slide.
- Outdoor and indoor swimming pools may be open provided occupancy is limited to no more than 75 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy and all swimmers maintain at least 10 feet of physical distance from others who are not Family members as defined in Fourth Amended Executive Order 72. 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 10 feet of spacing between persons who are not Family members as defined in Fourth Amended Executive Order 72.
- Employees working in customer-facing areas are required to wear masks over their nose and mouth, while working at their place of employment. Lifeguards responding to distressed swimmers are exempt from this requirement.
- Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing employees, customers, visitors, the general public, and other persons entering into the place of employment with a place to wash their hands. This is particularly important when patrons are using shared equipment that is not easily cleaned or disinfected between use (e.g., slide ladders, climbing rope, exercise bands). If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide hand sanitizers. Additional hand hygiene requirements for Virginia employees and employers can be found in the Department of Labor and Industry’s Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19. Further hand hygiene guidance can be found on the CDC website, including a training video.
- Screen patrons for COVID-19 symptoms, a positive diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the prior 10 days, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the 14 days prior to admission to the venue/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 must be accompanied by:
- An Electrical Inspection Form 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.