Catherine West MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Swimming and a keen swimmer herself, has called on the Government to u-turn on their outdoor swimming ban during this second national lockdown. She said:
“Whilst clear that action needs to be taken to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic the closure of Hampstead Heath as an open water swimming space is short-sighted and wrong.
There is strong evidence demonstrating the limited impact swimming has on the virus and it is time the Government based their actions on evidence, not on opinion. I know many who swim Hampstead Heath ponds cherish it as a way to stay fit and healthy and exercise is a key gateway to good mental health. The Government has backtracked on swimming before, during the first lockdown, and they need to do so again.”
Read the full article in the Ham & High on the local campaign to open Hampstead Heath Ponds & Lido
During the first lockdown, Catherine joined Swim England to present a petition signed by over 50,000 people to the Government to demand an urgent review into the decision not to allow swimming pools to open.
At the time she said “The huge number of people who have joined the campaign in such a short period of time shows the strength of feeling on this issue, and just how important the water is to people. I’m pleased to be backing Swim England’s #OpenOurPools campaign and will continue to put pressure on the Government to do the right thing and reopen swimming pools without delay.”