It’s no secret that coronavirus, or COVID-19, has affected many areas of life for people around the world, including Americans. One of the most impacted industries? Travel and hospitality.
When the country shut down and went into quarantine to slow the spread of COVID, this meant that people stopped going on their vacations. Plans were canceled. Trips were delayed.
But now, after a few months, people are ready to travel again. Occupancy at hotels continues to rise. And if you’re like many people, you may be planning a trip to the beach for some rest and relaxation.
While it’s possible to have an amazing trip during this pandemic, there are also things you should keep in mind as you travel. Keep reading to learn how you can stay safe while still having beach fun during COVID-19.
1. Research Local Rules and Regulations
First and foremost, the pandemic’s impact on your trip will vary based on your destination. Some of the areas of the country are nearly clear of the virus while others are experiencing their highest rates yet.
And the important thing to remember is that these conditions change rapidly. So in order to be prepared for your trip, spend some time reading up on the area you’re traveling to.
Rules about beach use, water access, and other safety procedures differ by state, city, and even beach. So do a quick Google search before you go to stay in the know.
Some of the regulations you may encounter include:
- Parking lot or public bathroom closures
- Limited beach hours
- Mask requirements
If you are having a tough time finding the latest information, also look at the local parks or health department. They may have updated guidelines.
2. Keep Your Distance
Over the last few months, no other phrase has become as familiar as this: social distancing.
And the concept of maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from people outside your group is a great idea at the beach as well. Just because you’re at the beach doesn’t mean you don’t need to social distance.
Keep your distance on the sand and in the water, just like you would in other public places.
Another way to keep your distance is to keep moving. If you’re busy doing an activity like swimming, paddle boarding, or walking, it will be easier to avoid crowded beaches where everyone is laying on towels close together.
Some beaches aren’t allowing beach chairs, coolers, and umbrellas in an effort to discourage large groups of people hanging out at the beach for extended periods of time.
When it comes to the water, though, there is no evidence that being in the water increases your risk of transmission. It’s similar to being anywhere else.
3. Use Your Own Gear
While the water doesn’t increase transmission of COVID-19, the rest of your beach gear can definitely house the virus and transfer it to others.
On a typical beach day, it’s normal for multiple people to touch the same surfaces.
Playing beach volleyball? Riding a kayak? Eating lunch from communal dishes?
All of these activities can increase the chance of coronavirus spreading.
So the key to remaining safe? Don’t share equipment with people outside of your house.
Instead, have people bring their own beach towels, food, chairs, and activities. As strange as it may feel to not enjoy a potluck style meal, it’s simply safer this way.
4. Wear Masks When Necessary
Another tip for beach fun during this unique time? Bring your mask.
Keep in mind that the current CDC recommendation is that people should wear a mask in public settings where social distancing is difficult. There’s definitely a chance that this will happen during your beach day. We all know how busy beaches can get.
If you’re vigilant about social distancing, not interacting with people from outside your household, you should be okay. But there are often situations you don’t expect where social distancing is tough.
In those moments, it’s great to have your mask nearby so you can protect both yourself and others.
At the end of the day, however, keep in mind that by being outside in a windy environment, the risk of spreading the virus decreases.
5. Be Cautious of Public Facilities
In a normal year, most people don’t think twice about using public facilities at the beach. Public bathrooms, playgrounds, outdoor showers, concession stands, and picnic tables are helpful amenities to make your day more enjoyable.
But in the time of COVID-19, these facilities can be super-spreaders. If an infected person uses the bathroom, touching the door, faucet, toilet, and paper towel machine can spread the germs quickly.
Because of this, many beaches have these areas closed. This also applies to many concession stands.
If these amenities are open at your beach, still exercise caution when using them. And bring your hand sanitizer so you can clean your hands after touching any of them.
Beach Fun During a Pandemic
There you have it: 5 tips for having beach fun during COVID-19. It’s an incredibly unique time, and this applies to your vacations as well.
The good news? You can still totally have an enjoyable and memorable trip with family or friends.
There are just some new rules and guidelines you should follow in order to stay safe.
Now that you’ve read through these tips, it’s time to make a plan for your beach day! We hope you have a great experience!
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