This summer, vacations are going to look different. Some families have already cancelled their summer plans and have opted for a staycation, while others are looking forward to the beach. If you’re heading to the beach this summer, research the safety requirements for the specific beach you’re visiting. Each state has its own requirements that you will need to abide by. Amra Nasir, MD, a physician with Adventist HealthCare Urgent Care, lists ways to stay safe no matter where you vacation this summer.
Know before you go
Before you leave, do your research so you know what to expect when you arrive. Each beach and state have their own safety measures in place that they will expect you to follow. If you’re staying at a hotel, find out what the expectations are of their guests. Ask when you must wear a face covering and what amenities will be available. If you or someone in your family isn’t feeling well, stay home.
Preparing for the car ride
For many, the beach is only a short car ride away. Whether you’re staying overnight or only going for the day, steps should be taken to keep your COVID-19 exposure low. “Before getting in the car, plan what you’re going to need for the drive as you want to limit your stops as much as possible. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, use the restroom before you leave and have snacks ready and available for the car ride,” explains Dr. Nasir.
Arriving to the beach
When you arrive to the beach, whether you’re staying at a hotel or renting a home, “wipe down frequently touched surfaces like door handles, counter-tops, bathrooms, etc. with disinfectant wipes or spray,” says Dr. Nasir. This helps to decrease your risk of exposure to germs from the last people that stayed there. If you need to run to the store, write a list of everything you will need and try to only make one trip to minimize your exposure. Since many grocery stores are still offering curbside pick-up, schedule a pick-up ahead of your visit. If you’re staying in a hotel or even renting a home, look into grocery delivery as an option.
Sitting on the beach
Dr. Nasir recommends practicing social distancing when at the beach. Select an area where you can keep your distance from others and where there are fewer people in the water. If an area has too many people, go to another part of the beach. Also, don’t forget about your sunscreen! Using sunscreen at the beach is important to protect yourself from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Select a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30 and reapply every two hours or after you get out of the water.
Depending on where you are planning to go, local businesses may ask you to wear a mask or face covering inside stores. This is to not only to keep you safe, but also to keep others safe who are working or shopping there. Each place you visit is going to have its own policies. The best thing you can do is follow the policies these businesses have put in place. To prepare, ensure you have clean, dry face masks for everyone and a way to either clean or safely reuse them.
This summer is going to look different for everyone, but it’s important to keep your health and safety in mind. Take advantage of what you can do safely by always practicing good health hygiene, such as frequently washing your hands, wearing a face-covering when it is recommended and practicing social distancing. You can still have fun and go on vacation with your family, just take the proper precautions.