Summer is here – at least for Turkey, it is.
The days are longer, the skies are a clear blue and the sun's rays are shining bright to warm our bones after what felt like an endless winter. Almost everyone is dreaming of having a vacation somewhere with some sea, sand and fun in the sun.
But one big question remains on people's minds: Is it actually safe to swim at a beach or pool during the coronavirus pandemic?
Health officials across the world say it can be, as long as swimmers stick to social distancing guidelines both in and out of the water.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from person to person in the water in pools, hot tubs, oceans, or lakes. Pool disinfectants like chlorine should also kill the virus, providing another layer of protection.
But crowds still pose a risk. That's why communities that are reopening pools and beaches are instituting temporary rules limiting capacity and requiring facial masks. Beaches along Turkey's coasts have also introduced new seating, sunbed arrangements to maintain social distancing.
Health authorities say people heading to the beach or pool this summer should follow the same advice for anyone in public: Stay at least 1.5-2 meters (5-6 feet) away from people you don't live with, wear a facial covering around others, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you're not feeling well.