Since June, travel restrictions have been eased in different parts of the Philippines. With that, people can now resume their traveling plans and head to their hometowns or dream destinations.
One of the notable destinations that have re-opened to tourists is Boracay. However, several restrictions are still in place, such as allowing only locals from Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Iloilo, Antique, Aklan, and Capiz to enter the island.
So if you’re qualified to go to Boracay, you might as well take this opportunity to enjoy the beach. After all, experts encourage physical activity in recreational areas like beaches to stay healthy. But, you have to remember to enjoy it with caution. Following certain rules and regulations vs COVID-19 is still highly encouraged. Now, stay virus-free on your beach trip by observing these beach safety tips.
Before the pandemic, researching the rules and regulations in your chosen destination is the number one priority to avoid summer troubles. With COVID-19, you have to double your research efforts.
Call the local government, the airline, and your hotel ahead. Each sector may have different COVID-19 safety regulations and restrictions. This way, you’ll avoid unnecessary trouble or stress.
One of the constant safety tips for COVID-19 is maintaining a distance of six feet away from each other. So does this mean it’s safe to go to a crowded place if the said distance is maintained? Dr. Shawn Nasseri, a California-based ear, nose, and throat specialist said that a crowded beach with social distancing is still not safe. This is because respiratory droplets may travel through the air, which puts you at a risk.
Instead, go to the beach during off-peak hours. Or better yet, choose an accommodation like Alta Vista de Boracay that lets you experience other nearby beautiful, but less-crowded beaches.
Hungry after a day on the beach? It’s still possible to go on a food trip to the best eats in Boracay. After all, food microbiologist Donald Schaffner of Rutgers University said, you won’t get COVID from food, but you can get it from the people you’re around with.
Just to be safe, order takeout instead and leave the premises immediately. If you must stay in a restaurant, choose a dining place with natural ventilation and with proper distancing between seats.
Public pools are recreational bodies of water, just like beaches. But what makes them high-risk from COVID-19 compared to the beach? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enumerated many high-touch surfaces in public pools like handrails and slides, which can put you at risk of COVID-19.
To avoid touching these surfaces, it’s better to go for a private pool. But, it is still advisable to keep a safe distance from your friends and family while in the pool.
One of the tips for beach trips during the pandemic is to avoid high-touch surfaces and places. Think public restrooms or locker rooms, and other places that are open for public use.
You might as well go to your hotel’s restroom before heading to the beach. Or, if you really have to go use a public restroom, wear your mask and wash your hands before and after you go to the restroom. Infectious diseases physician Gretchen Snoeyenbos Newman of the University of Washington also said that you should avoid touching your face or phone while inside the restroom.
Even if you cleaned your hands or avoided high-touch surfaces, it helps to bring disinfectants everywhere you go. This is one of the beach safety tips that you have to develop into a habit because you never know when you’ll need it.
Bring different kinds of handy disinfectants at all times, like alcohol, hand sanitizer, or disinfectant wipes. It can be helpful in places where you don’t have access to soap or even water.
Infectious diseases physician Andrew Janowski of Washington University said that the water can dilute virus particles so you have less possibility of getting infected. Still, you have to observe beach safety by maintaining a safe distance from people, even if you are in the water.
In addition, remember to limit your beach trip invitation to not more than 10 people. Avoid inviting people outside your household as well, because you’ll never know if your friends or colleagues have been exposed to the virus.
The World Health Organization encourages physical activities to keep ourselves healthy amidst the pandemic. If you’re at the beach during the COVID-19 pandemic, you have lots of options for physical activities like biking, strolling, swimming, and more.
After all, assistant professor of medicine Dr. Russell Buhr of UCLA Health, California insisted that staying in one place for a long time is a huge risk. Get moving and avoid sitting in one place or setting up a barbecue, because these activities cause people to stay close together.
As much as possible, do not encourage group activities that will cause people to stay close together. Avoid group games like basketball or beach volleyball, because these games will cause unintentional bumping into each other.
If you want to play sports, try tennis or badminton. But you should also avoid sharing of equipment, and disinfect them afterward.
Ensure beach safety by developing a habit of wearing your mask, even with people you live with. As infectious diseases specialist Tania Elliott of NYU Langone pointed out, people quickly forget wearing a mask and might interact with other people without realizing it.
The CDC, however, stated that you should only wear your mask on land. Avoid wearing masks while on the water because it might cause breathing difficulties.
It’s difficult to maintain social distancing when food and drinks are involved. People tend to socialize while eating and drinking alcoholic beverages. Also, people will have to set their masks aside while eating.
To stay COVID-free, one of the beach safety tips you can follow while dining is to avoid sharing food and drinks. Bring your own utensils or use disposable ones. Also, don’t let anyone go beyond their drinking limits so that they won’t get into frisky situations.
Whether in water and on land, your interactions with people are crucial in this pandemic. If someone is not from your household, you’ll never know if they have symptoms of COVID. They’ll also never know if you have the symptoms.
You must remember to make your conversations as brief as possible. From the airport down to the beach, don’t interact for long periods of time with people who are not from your household.
Like the people you are interacting with, you never know if someone with COVID may have touched certain objects in a store. Who knows if a keychain or bananas may have been touched five times by five different people?
Disinfecting anything that you will buy is one of the safety tips that you need to practice. Whether in a fresh market or a souvenir shop, avoid touching objects if you’re not going to purchase it.
If you are not feeling well, just stay at home. After all, how will you enjoy a day at the beach if you are feeling feverish or dizzy?
The beach is not going anywhere; you can enjoy the beach some other time. Focus on getting better and recovering at home, and stop the virus from spreading.
With lockdowns ending and borders opening in different parts of the world, it is easy to forget that COVID-19 is still here and thriving. So don’t let the virus catch you off-guard even as you enjoy your precious time on the beach or anywhere else. Stay informed and practice safety tips against COVID-19 at all times.