Reopening Guides:


Hotel pools and spa guidance for Phase 2 and Phase 3

Apr 14, 2021 | Hotel COVID-19 Operations Guide

Counties in Washington are not all in the same phase of the Healthy Washington—Roadmap to Recovery plan. For hotel operators with pools, here are the requirements for operating pools and water recreation facilities for each phase. In addition to following the requirements, all water recreation facilities are required to have a written comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control, mitigation and recovery plan on site. Learn more here.

Phase 2

  • Appointments are required. If an appointment system is not feasible, maximum occupancy must be posted and enforced by designated staff.
  • Occupancy is based on square footage (162 square feet per person) with a 50-person maximum occupancy. View this supplement guidance on calculating occupancy.
  • One person per lane is recommended. No more than two people are allowed in each lane except for people of the same household or individuals who require a caretaker to assist them.
  • Open swim is allowed.

Phase 3

The total number of patrons (the sum of the number of patrons in the water and the number of patrons on the deck excluding facility staff) present within the facility at any given time must not exceed the most restrictive of the following:

  • All patrons are able to comfortably and reasonably practice six-foot minimum physical distancing at all times except for between people from the same household. See this document for more information.
  • 50% of the maximum occupancy during normal times if a maximum occupancy is provided by the local building department or fire department.
  • In the water: Water surface area (square footage) of the pool divided by 72.

Exception for spas: This square footage requirement does not apply to spas. For spas, 50% of the normal maximum bather load, or the physical distancing requirement above, whichever is more restrictive is the requirement.

  • On the deck: The surface area (square footage) of all available decks (areas used regularly by patrons, and this includes all deck space (perimeter deck, pool deck and dry deck within the enclosure) divided by 72. Do not include areas that are not typically used by patrons or areas that are only for staff.

Face coverings are still required indoors when lounging on the pool deck and using a spa or hot tub even if six-foot physical distancing is maintained. Mask may be removed when:

  • In an outdoor public area (e.g., outdoor spa, outdoor pool deck) while maintaining the minimum six-foot physical distancing with all non-household members.
  • Engaging in indoor or outdoor exercise activities (e.g., swimming in pools).

When reopening a pool or spa after a long period of shut down, please also:

DOH reopening guidelines includes the following chart for water facilities at transient accommodations:

Find more information and prevention guidance here.


COVID-19 Prevention Guidance and Reopening of Water Recreation Facilities in Phases (3.23.21)

DOH Water Recreation Facility Occupancy Supplemental Guidance (3.22.21)

DOH Guidance for Shutting Down and Reopening Water Recreation Facilities

If you have questions on reopening water recreation facilities, contact your local health agency at or the DOH Water Recreation Program at