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In Luxembourg: Wearing a burkini is tolerated in swimming pools

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In Luxembourg Wearing a burkini is tolerated in swimming pools

LUXEMBOURG – Questioned by an ADR deputy, the government believes that there is “no objective reason” for a municipality to ban the wearing of the burkini in public swimming pools.

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Should the wearing of burkini* be prohibited in swimming pools in Luxembourg? This is what the ADR deputy Fernand Kartheiser wonders, in a parliamentary question. “Is the government also of the opinion, like the French Council of State, that the authorization of the burkini in the public space represents a concession to the radical religious claims of a minority and is not compatible with the principle of separation of Church and State?, he asks. Is the government of the view that allowing the burkini while simultaneously banning shorts and ‘normal’ full suits in swimming does not represent a form of discrimination against people who, for whatever reason, wish to wear long swimsuits?

In addition, the member cites the regulation of a municipal swimming pool which stipulates that access is not permitted to people with a communicable disease that could constitute a danger to the health of other users. “Can the government explain how a lifeguard can see if a woman wearing a burkini should be excluded from swimming for hygiene or health reasons?”

No “explicit” permission

Interior Minister Taina Bofferding and Health Minister Paulette Lenert reply that there is no “explicit” authorization for wearing the burkini in swimming pools in Luxembourg. “The municipalities, in their competence to ensure public order, can enact regulations which, among other things, must guarantee safety and hygiene, explain the ministers. The wearing of the burkini in a swimming pool does not represent a risk for safety or hygiene, there is no objective reason for a municipality to prohibit it”.

Regarding infectious diseases, Paulette Lenert and Taina Bofferding note that they cannot be detected with the naked eye. “The swimsuit criterion is therefore not relevant here,” they conclude.

*The burkini is a swimsuit for women covering the trunk as well as a large part of the limbs and the head. According to its supporters, it allows women to bathe in accordance with Islamic modesty.

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