CONSUMER REPORTS — With recent spikes in coronavirus cases, especially in some popular vacation spots, is it still safe to plan outdoor pool or beach time this summer? Consumer Reports has some important tips on how to have safe fun in the sun.
Beach rules may vary among states and even neighboring towns. Some might allow all activities while others might have limitations, including how many people are allowed on the beach. And plan ahead for food and bathrooms because concession stands and public toilets and showers might be off-limits.
If the parking lot or the beach look too crowded and you don’t think you’ll be able to stay at least 6 feet from other people, it’s probably a good idea to turn around and go home.
Experts agree that the risk of waterborne transmission of COVID-19 is low. But the biggest threat is by coming into close contact with other swimmers, who may be contagious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face coverings in public where social distancing may be difficult. You should, however, remove your mask before you swim and stay 6 feet away from other people in the water.
If you’re able to set up your beach towel at least 6 feet away from anyone not in your household, you may be able to safely remove your mask.
If you decide to go for a walk or anywhere where you might come into close proximity to other people, always put your mask back on.
And coronavirus worries are no excuse to ignore sun protection! Make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin.
Two top performers in Consumer Reports’ tests are also CR Best Buys at less than $10: Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+ and Coppertone UltraGuard Lotion SPF 70.
Reapply every 2 hours or after swimming, and wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed hat.
Consumer Reports says it’s important to apply sunscreen to your entire face, even if you’re wearing a mask. If you take off your mask at any point when you’re not around other people, you don’t want to leave the lower part of your face unprotected from UV rays.