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Coronavirus: people with physical impairments need their swim, advocates say

File photo: swimmers leaving the sea after a winter swim in Paphos

Limassol winter swimmers’ group Akti Olympion has called on the health minister to issue a decree allowing people with mobility problems to swim as without the therapeutic exercise they are facing serious problems.

Head of the group Erma Stylianides said in a letter to the minister that many winter swimmers face serious health problems and swimming was very beneficial for them.

She pointed out that this period is difficult for people with mainly myoskeletal problems.

Stylianides said that some of these people are forced to rush for a quick swim during the time police patrols change shifts.

Most of the group’s members swim year-round, between 5am and 8am. Most of them swim not more than an hour, she said in the letter.

“We are a large number of swimmers and we want to swim and exercise in the sea for the sake of our health, legally and with a decree covering us, according to the principles of human rights of every free person suffering from a disease and who wants to be law abiding,” Stylianides said in the letter.

She suggests that swimming in the sea is allowed between certain hours in the morning, that swimmers go to the beach alone and carry with them their group membership card, and keep a two-metre distance from other people in and outside the sea.

This can be done without the use of public showers and changing rooms and without the presence of sunbeds, Stylianides said.

She concluded by appealing to the sensitivity of both the minister and President Nicos Anastasiades as regards vulnerable population groups, expressing hope they would eye their appeal positively.

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