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Friday 10, March

Topless swimming now permitted in all Berlin pools

Following a discrimination complaint, toplessness will now be permitted for all genders in Berlin swimming pools.

Women will no longer be required to wear bikini tops in Berlin swimming pools. Photo: IMAGO / agefotostock

Friday 10, March

On Friday, there were 449 new Covid-19 infections reported in Berlin. The seven-day incidence currently stands at 34.9 cases per 100,000 people.

Swimming topless now allowed for everyone in Berlin pools

Last summer, a Berlin woman was expelled from a public swimming pool when she refused to cover her breasts after being asked to do so by the supervisory staff. But was this fair? Men are allowed to go swimming topless, so why wasn’t she? Following that incident, the woman took the swimming pool to court with a discrimination complaint which has now been upheld by Berlin courts. From now on, all public Berlin swimming pools will allow topless bathing for everyone.

In the past, official pool rules did not actually make a distinction by gender, only stating that visitors should wear “commercial swimwear” – but the staff has understood these rules to mean that female toplessness was prohibited. Doris Liebscher, head of the ombudsman’s office for equal treatment, welcomed the decision, stating that “it creates equal rights for all Berliners, whether male, female or non-binary” and would ensure “legal certainty” for swimming pool staff.