In a mask-wearing, socially-distanced world, much has changed about the way we travel. But as states enter later phases of reopening plans amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with hotels finally welcoming travelers back, some summer staples of travel remain. Namely, the hotel pool.


Offering a respite from a quarantined spring, hotel pools—from architecturally-stunning options like The Rosewood Miramar Beach pool, to family-friendly swims like that at the Chatham Bars Inn—are tempting.

But is this summer indulgence, one that often comes with crowds, confined spaces, and a water environment that isn’t always mask-friendly, a safe one? We asked three public health experts about the risk of coronavirus in pools to find out.

Is it responsible to use a hotel’s pool?

Dr. Sten H. Vermund, dean of Yale School of Public Health: Crowding is a factor. Guests may also come from higher-risk venues, such as hotel lobbies and restaurants, or may not have quarantined. One just does not know. If the pool is very uncrowded and social distancing is possible, the risk is low. Masks should be worn [outside of the pool] when not eating.