How Is Covid Affecting Outdoor Recreation This Year?
Like it or not, the Covid pandemic isn't over yet. Although by the summer, when most outdoor recreation will take place, it will hopefully be less of an issue, there are still going to be some hot-spots, and there will be some things to keep in mind in any outdoor recreational situation.
No matter what your state says about mask mandates, other states may be different. Checking ahead is a good way to find out if the recreation you have planned is in a mask mandate state. However, Covid surges can happen at any time, so regardless of what the officials say now, might not be what the mandate is in a week, a month, or six months from now. What all this means is to be prepared. Take masks for the family, or at the very least some type of face covering. No matter if you’re vaccinated or boosted, if you defy a mask mandate, you could be fined, or worse, forcefully removed from any premises you are visiting.
If you’re at a crowded function, like any outdoor sport, there may be restrictions as to how close you may sit or stand next to someone else. Of course, being at an outdoor venue means you are less likely to either catch or spread Covid, but in all cases, it’s generally better to be safe than sorry. If you have a choice in the matter, keep your distance, and if you don't, wearing a mask might be the difference between sickness or health.
If you, or family and friends, partake of some recreational activities outdoors, like camping, swimming, fishing, hiking, and/or others, you’re pretty much in the clear. Even mask mandates in the city would not apply to someone out in the woods, on hiking or biking trails, fishing, or hunting. Of course, you should always keep a mask withing easy reach for those times you may need to run for supplies, and there’s a mask mandate in these more populated areas, but for the most part, if you’re outside and not closely interacting with crowds, you won't have to worry about Covid. Even picnicking in a park, where people are dozens of feet away from each other, should be no problem.
If you are traveling within the United States an U.S. territories, pay attention to the current CDC guidelines:
Delay travel until you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.
Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, tribal, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place.
Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
Do not travel if you are sick, tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation, had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and haven’t ended quarantine, or are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test.
If you are not up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines and must travel, get tested both before and after your trip.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after travel, isolate and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.
The Age of Covid
Covid has forced us all to change in one way or another. Whether you are for or against masks, whether or not you’re vaccinated, or whether you believe or don't believe in alternative ways to fight the disease. All walks of life have changed because of the pandemic, but you can still have a fun, memorable experience outdoors.
For the most part, outdoor recreation has been the least affected activity we can participate in, unless it has something to do with being in a large crowd. But most other things that we do, like jogging, going for walks or walking hand in hand with a loved one through a park, haven't much changed at all. So, get a head start on planning your outdoor adventure, be sure to take a few more precautions than you normally would have, and know that being outdoors is the safest place to be in this age of Covid.
*The information presented in this article is for informational purposes only – please consult with your healthcare provider and the CDC if you have concerns prior to your travels.