VANCOUVER -- Vancouverites have shown just how ready they are to go swimming at one of the city's three outdoor pools.

Demand to book tickets online caused the Park Board website to crash for nearly an hour Sunday morning as people tried to reserve time at Kitsilano, Second Beach and New Brighton pools for a designated session on Monday, the first day they reopen to the public.

Registration opened at 9:30 a.m.

Shortly after 10 a.m., the Park Board issued an apology, citing a technical problem and thanking people for their patience.

By 10:30 a.m., the booking system was open for business.

The Park Board closed pools and recreation centres at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic when B.C. declared a public health emergency.

The three outdoor swimming pools are poised to open Monday, July 13 for the first time this year with new safety guidelines and health protocols. Maple Grove Pool will open July 20.

Swimmers must arrive ready to swim, meaning there will be no access to change rooms or lockers, and people must book their visit one day ahead, opting for 45 minutes for lane swimming or 90 minutes for leisure swimming.

The Park Board is enforcing the use of "pods" – painted rectangles on the pool deck – where family members or inter-connected groups can congregate at a distance from others.

Pods are limited to two people over the age of five and a maximum of three people.

"We encourage patrons to access the centre of the pod as much as possible, to allow for adequate distance between pods," the Park Board advises on its website.

Specific rules also govern swim lanes. Swimmers are asked to keep five metres apart and not congregate or socialize at the lane ends. To rest, swimmers are asked to leave the lane.

The pools will close for 30 minutes for thorough cleaning between sessions.