Lleida bans the ‘burkhini’ in public pools

burkini1Public swimming pools in the province of Lleida (Catalunya) have banned the ‘burkhini’, following France’s example where several towns have prohibited the Islamic women’s bathing costumes.

In Lleida city, one of the first in Spain to ban the burkha from public places, says it has forbidden ‘burkhinis’ from its outdoor and indoor pools on the grounds of ‘hygiene and safety’.

“We don’t allow swimming or bathing in clothes anyway, and signs are already up at every pool reminding users that it is forbidden to enter the water in T-shirts, trousers and so on,” the city council says.

“Use of proper swimming costumes or bikinis are required.”

However, the local authority says ‘proper medical material recommended or prescribed by a doctor’ is allowed, although this has to be ‘accredited with documentation’.

Most pool-users questioned said they thought men, women and children should be able to bathe or swim in ‘whatever they wanted to wear’, and cannot see why there should be hygiene or safety concerns about the burkhini.

Many French residents have other ideas, though – five local people were arrested in Corsica yesterday (Wednesday) for causing a fight with a number of Moroccan women wearing burkhinis.

Published Think Spain 18 August 2016

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