Are summer vacations & camps safe this summer?
Summer is here, and after more than a year of sheltering in place and avoiding travel during the pandemic, many people are eager to enjoy activities they missed out on in 2020. There are, however, still a lot of questions and concerns about what summer activities are safe.
We’re here to help. We’ll walk you through the CDC’s latest recommendations on traveling, indoor and outdoor gatherings, and provide tips on safe summer activities so you and your family can reclaim summer fun.
Is it safe to attend gatherings?
After more than a year of missed birthdays, holidays, weddings and graduation parties, celebrations with family and friends are back. According to the CDC, it’s safe for fully vaccinated people to return to activities they did before the pandemic—without wearing masks or social distancing. This guidance includes both indoor and outdoor gatherings of all sizes—as long as all attendees are fully vaccinated.
If the idea of a large indoor get-together fills you with anxiety, you may want to consider the following:
- Continue wearing a mask — While no longer required if you are fully vaccinated, many people feel more comfortable continuing to wear a mask as they readjust to post-pandemic life.
- Continue frequently washing your hands — Washing your hands often and thoroughly is an excellent way to prevent spreading germs. Always wash before and after eating or drinking.
- Opt for outdoor gatherings — With warmer temps, it’s easy to move indoor gatherings outside where space and air flow is ample.
If you’re considering hosting or attending an indoor gathering, make sure to abide by all applicable rules and guidelines. Remember, federal, state, local, tribal and territorial laws, rules and regulations—including business and workplace guidelines—take precedence over CDC guidelines.
Are outdoor activities safe?
In short, yes! At the beginning of the pandemic, outdoor concerts were canceled, parks closed and restaurant patios shut down. Now, as things begin to reopen, concert dates are being rescheduled, parks are open and you can once again grab a drink with friends on your favorite patio or rooftop. While CDC guidance says it’s safe to gather indoors as long as everyone is vaccinated, outdoor activities are a great way to gently ease back into social interactions. Outdoor activities are also much safer for young children and others who haven’t been vaccinated—although social distancing guidelines should still be followed.
To keep things extra safe—even if just for peace of mind—here are some ideas:
- Do an activity that allows for more distance — Grilling out in your backyard with a couple of friends may be a more comfortable option than being cramped together on a boat.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend out — Spending a few hours with friends as opposed to a full weekend is a good way to test the waters.
- Keep gatherings small — Big, outdoor music festivals where everyone is packed close together involve a higher risk of transmission than getting together with a small group of friends.
Again, if you’re participating in outdoor activities, make sure to check current state laws and guidelines to ensure you’re staying safe.
Are summer activities and camps safe for kids?
As the school year comes to a close, many kids are looking forward to summer activities and camps.
For parents, it’s hard to know what activities are safe for kids to participate in this summer. Can they go to swimming lessons? What about soccer camp? This is especially true if your child is under the age of 12 and not vaccinated. If you do choose to have your child participate in activities or send them to camp this summer, there are ways to reduce risks. For example, you can:
- Consider enrollment size — The more kids, the more risk of transmission. To reduce potential exposure, select activities with fewer participants.
- Understand health and safety guidelines — The activity or camp you choose should have guidelines around COVID-19. Know the policies around testing and adjusting activities to allow for more distancing.
- Opt for outdoor activities — Fresh air is good for kids and participating in outdoor activities like hiking and biking makes social distancing easier and reduces the risk of transmission.
- Pick a day camp — To reduce risk of exposure, consider sending your child to a day camp where kids aren’t sharing communal sleeping quarters.
Ultimately, every family must decide whether or not it makes sense to skip certain activities this summer. When making this decision, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration including your child’s vaccination status, age and overall health. For additional guidance on how to cope with daily life with kids during COVID, consult the CDC’s website.
Is it safe to travel?
You may be eager to re-book cancelled trips or pack the car for a road trip. Whether you’re traveling internationally or taking a road trip for the weekend, make sure to verify the rules and regulations surrounding COVID-19 prevention wherever you’re headed.
If you are fully vaccinated, you’re protected from COVID-19, however it’s still unclear whether or not you can carry and spread COVID-19 to someone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet. To be safe, you may choose to:
- Continue wearing a mask in crowded places — Gas stations and restaurants may feel a bit safer for you and others if you wear a mask.
- Choose activities that allow for more distancing — Opt for activities like hiking or biking and choose to get take out for dinner instead of eating in restaurants.
- Keep frequently washing hands — Wash your hands often while traveling and—when soap and water aren’t an option—make sure to toss a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or backpack.
If you are fully vaccinated and plan to travel internationally, make sure you understand the COVID-19 situation in your destination location and follow all safety rules and procedures. Additionally, you will be required to wear a mask while flying or using public transportation. Being informed and prepared can help ensure for a smooth and enjoyable trip.
Stay safe so you can have fun
As we recover from a global pandemic, there are a lot of safe activities that you and your family can participate in this summer. To keep yourself and your family safe and healthy, be informed. Visit the CDC’s website to get the most up-to-date health and safety guidance.
For those who are not vaccinated, it’s important to understand the risks associated with certain activities. It’s also important to continue to take steps to prevent transmission and stay safe—including wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing.
Want more COIVD-19 information and answers? Our recent blog post dives into navigating life post-vaccination.
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