Spanish scientists warn against swimming in rivers, lakes and freshwater pools due to risk of C0vid-19

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CLOSED: Swimming is banned at Pantano de San Juan along with other rivers and reservoirs in Madrid. CREDIT: Flickr

Spanish scientists have warned against swimming in rivers, lakes and freshwater pools due to risk of C0vid-19, with Madrid enforcing an outright ban.

According to the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), coronavirus has “a greater chance of survival” in these aquatic environments compared to salt water and treated pools. And as such, scientists are warning against swimming in them.

The State Secretariat for Tourism asked the team of CSIC researchers to cary out a study and publish a report on the risks of Covid-19 contagion in different aquatic environments.

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And they concluded that in salt water and suitably treated pools the danger is “very unlikely”.

The survival of the virus in rivers, lakes and freshwater pools however “may be superior”.

The Community of Madrid has banned swimming in rivers and reservoirs, and certain authorities are closing the areas completely.


The Mayor of San Martín de Valdeiglesias in Madrid, Mercedes Zarzalejo, has ordered the closure of access to the recreational areas at San Juan reservoir.

The only exception will be for those taking part in water sports activities in designated areas by appointment.


Zarzalejo said there was a situation of “chaos” in these areas last weekend with crowds of people, many flouting the “bathing ban”.




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