New York City's summer essentials are back: dozens of outdoor pools are open all across the five boroughs weeks after beaches reopened for the season.
Five of the city's 53 outdoor pools will be closed because of active reconstruction projects but the others will open -- a bevy of swim options compared with the more limited (and late) reopening of public pools last summer.
A number of COVID safety protocols are still in place, including the requirement to wear a face mask in pool facilities, locker rooms, bathrooms and on the pool decks. Masks are not required in the water.
Swim hours will remain the same: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Only a few handfuls of the five borough's pools opened last year due to limited resources and the continued spread of the virus long before vaccines were in circulation.
"These beautiful outdoor spaces mean so much to New Yorkers, especially after the year we've all had," Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month in announcing reopening dates. "We'll continue to follow health guidance to ensure the safety of everyone."
The five boroughs' outdoor pools returned Saturday, one day after the final day of school, and several weeks after the city's eight beaches reopened on May 29. Core COVID precautions and health guidance will apply at all locations.
NYC Parks unveiled three new "cool pools" are Van Cortlandt, Howard, and Bushwick pools, adding to the 13 pools already treated to a new paint palette and umbrellas as part of the city's initiative to give the neighborhood amenities a facelift.
"Summer 2021 swim programs are not currently being held at our outdoor pools, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected our ability to hire and train lifeguards," the NYC Parks website states.
The summer swimming season ends September 12. The city's indoor pools remain closed, for now.