This Version Posted: June 8, 2020
With the nicer weather here, it’s normal to want to get outdoors enjoying the nicer weather. But given the current COVID-19 situation, you also need to keep public health measures in mind every step of the way to slow the spread of the virus.
- You must stay home if you are self-isolating for 14 days because you recently returned to Canada, have COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Enjoy the sunny days of spring, but practise physical distancing. By doing so, you can get the mental health benefits of being outdoors and enjoy being active with your family – all while staying close to home.
- If not self-isolating, you can go outside but avoid crowds and maintain a distance of two metres (six feet) from others. Be sure to step aside or pass others quickly and courteously on sidewalks.
Activities to Try
(Many sports fields, playgrounds and other outdoor recreation facilities are still closed. As of June 12, outdoor splash pads, wading pools and swimming pools are being allowed to reopen. Tennis courts can also be used. Check with your local community to see what is accessible, and if you go out, continue to take precautions at all times)
- Rake your garden and lawn. Consider helping a neighbour in self-isolation by taking care of their yard work.
- Bike rides, walks, runs or even rollerblading as a family are great ways to be active and maintain physical distance from others. If your route or trail is busy with other people, change course and look for new areas to explore. Be sure to wear the proper protective equipment to reduce the chance of injury.
- Be creative on a walk or make it more fun. Bring binoculars to watch birds or take a list for a scavenger hunt along the route.
- If you have a backyard, the possibilities are endless. Try a backyard game of soccer, catch, badminton or try a skipping competition to get the heart pumping. Unstructured play can also be fun.
- Use chalk and a ball or beanbag to turn your driveway, sidewalk or empty parking lot into a game of hopscotch or four-square.
- For more activity ideas, visit:
Questions to Ask to Ensure Activities Are Responsible
- Will I come within two metres of people outside of my family?
- Does this activity put me at risk for potential injury (especially when local health care resources are already stretched)?
- Will this activity put me in close contact with people more at risk of COVID-19, like older adults and people with compromised immune system?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, find something else to do.
- If self-isolating, do not ride a bike
- Wear a proper helmet
- Stick to riding with family members. Group rides or social rides with friends are not advised
- Practise physical distancing. Keep two metres (six-feet) apart from others. That’s roughly the length of a bike
- Before going out riding and upon your return home, wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face, especially if you are trying to adjust your helmet
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (E.g., bicycle handlebars, brake levers and gear shifters)
Tips for Planning a Drive During COVID-19
As the weather improves, going for a drive seems like the perfect COVID-19 outing. Cars allow you to maintain physical distancing while getting out of the house. But remember that anytime you leave your vehicle, you increase your risk of spreading COVID-19, so take precautions.
- Stay close to home. Travel should be limited to essential trips only.
- If going out for a drive, take what you need with you so that you don’t need to make any unnecessary stops.
- Pack supplies such as hand sanitizer and cloth face masks. Use them as needed.
- Plan ahead.
- If you have a destination in mind, call ahead and find out what is open and closed.
- Finding public washrooms that are open may be a challenge. Don’t assume that restaurants or public parks will have washrooms open for you to use. Keep this in mind if planning a trip. Stay close enough to home so you do not need to use public washrooms or do research in advance to confirm the availability of public washroom where you’re heading.
- Avoid crowds and any situation where physical distancing will be a challenge.
- If you leave the car, stay 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others