The Summers are just around the corner and everyone’s getting ready to enjoy the outdoors to walk, jog, hike, garden, ride a bicycle or visit a park.

Since January 2020, the world has been under the threat of a silent, invisible, highly contagious virus that has forced individuals, communities, and society as a whole to practice social distancing. Stay-at-home orders and physical distancing recommendations have inhibited outdoor recreation activities central to the lifestyles and wellbeing of outdoor enthusiasts. Covid-19 has affected our relationship with the outdoors.

Finally after an entire year, things are gradually getting back to normal. People are adopting healthy ways to stay active, they’re spending more time with their families, and trying their best to reduce stress and anxiety while engaging in social distancing strategies.

Outdoor recreational spaces make important contributions to social well-being as well as physical and mental health. Going to parks, and green spaces encourage healthy outdoor activity and offer stress relief. But it is important to do it all while keeping the SOPs in check.

Here are some simple ways you can protect you and your family from COVID-19 while enjoying the outdoors.

You and your loved one should:

• Avoid close contact with people, even when outside. Keep a distance of at least 6 feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid games and activities that require close contact.

• Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard the tissue in a closed container.

• Avoid frequently touched surfaces and objects. This includes playground equipment like slides and swings.

• Don’t share equipment such as bicycles, helmets, balls or frisbees.

• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol:

When you return indoors,
after using the restroom,
before and after eating,
after coughing or sneezing, and
after touching surfaces or items that may be contaminated.

If you are sick or had contact with someone who is sick in the last 14 days:

• You should stay home.
• You may enjoy spending time in your own backyard or other personal outdoor space but should not go into public outdoor spaces.

The outdoors is calling, but the coronavirus is still out there. If you’re going outside, all you need to do is follow the 3 simple rules:

Wear a mask.
Stay 2 meters apart.
Wash your hands.