Public pools to implement wristband system to help prevent overcrowding

One of the largest pools in the city at 330 feet long, the Red Hook Pool is an Olympic-sized pool that was built in the 1930s under Robert Moses as part of a larger rec center. When it was opened in 1936, 40,000 people attended the opening. It was refurbished in the 1980s and remains one of the cleaner and most quiet pools in Brooklyn. (Bay and Henry streets)

The Department of Parks and Recreation is instructing public pools reopening on Friday to use a wristband system to prevent long lines where maintaining social distance can be challenging. 

“Think of it as like a Disney FastPass,” Crystal Howard, assistant commissioner of communications for Parks, told amNewYork Metro. “Once a pool manager decides that a queue has grown too large, staff will distribute wristbands to different sections with the instruction to return to the pool entrance at another designated time. Once the wait time has ended, those that have been given wristbands can bypass the line and enter the pool .”

Parks did not want to describe how staffers will be able to distinguish one groups’ set of wristbands from another out of fear of duplication, according to Howard. Other measures being taken to ensure visitors maintain social distancing, is only allowing pools to operate at 30% their normal capacity and requiring all pool-goers to wear masks while out of the water. 

All staff, with the exception of lifeguards, will also be required to wear face coverings at all times and will be required to clean “high-touch areas” like pool ladders, drinking fountains, shower controls, door handles, sinks, toilets, and urinals multiple times a day. Pool deck furniture like picnic tables, chairs, and lounges will be cleaned twice a day. 

Staff will also frequently walk through waiting areas and locker rooms to make sure that congregating takes place. The number of benches in locker rooms has also been reduced to ensure that visitors sit at least six feet apart. 

New signs reminding patrons to keep social distance have also been added outside of the reopening public pools. The pavement outside of pools has also been set up with markings spaced six-feet apart to help space out those in line. 

Pools will open at 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and reopen at 4 p.m. and close at 7 p.m. in keeping with traditional pool hours of operation before New York City fell into the “new normal.” 

The public pools reopening Friday, July 24 are: 


Mullaly Park Pool, Highbridge


Sunset Pool, Sunset Park

Kosciuszko Pool, Bed-Stuy


Wagner Pool, East Harlem


Liberty Pool, Jamaica

Fisher Pool, East Elmhurst

Staten Island:

Tottenville Pool, Tottenville 

Lyons Pool, Tompkinsville 

Seven more pools are scheduled to reopen next Friday.