Safe Outdoor Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Post Bulletin

For many people, the summer of 2020 has been unlike any other in recent memory. Public health restrictions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have resulted in the cancellation of festivals, concerts and other events. Many holidays and major celebrations have been limited or suspended.

Despite the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still plenty of fun to be had. In fact, looking for fun activities may be even more important now. Doing something you enjoy can distract you from problems and help you deal with life’s challenges.

When activities are close to your home and allow plenty of space between you and others, outdoor activities pose a lower risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus than indoor activities.

Why choose outdoor activities?

The COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets released into the air when you speak, cough or sneeze. When you’re indoors, you’re more likely to inhale these droplets from an infected person, especially if you’re in close contact, because you’re sharing more air than you are outdoors. Poor house ventilation can cause droplets to hang in the air for a longer period of time, increasing the risk of infection.

When you’re outdoors, cool air is constantly moving around, dispersing these droplets. Thus, you are less likely to inhale enough respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.

Being outdoors also has other benefits. It provides an emotional boost and can help you feel less tense, stressed, angry or depressed.

Low risk social activities

Many other outdoor activities can also be good choices:

  • Picnics. Take food home or grab takeout from your favorite restaurant or food truck and take it to your favorite public park.
  • Farmers markets. Wear a mask and maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others.
  • Gathering with friends. Allow social distancing between people from different households and avoid hugs and handshakes. Plan activities that don’t require close contact, like sidewalk chalk for kids and games like Frisbee. And offer hand sanitizer. Remember that just getting together to chat from a safe distance can provide a valuable opportunity to be with people you care about and uplift your mood at the same time.
  • Drive-in movies. The COVID-19 pandemic has launched a return to drive-in cinemas in the United States. It’s something a lot of people can enjoy with a lot of physical distancing.

Learn more about low-to-moderate and high-risk outdoor activities


This article is written by the staff of the Mayo Clinic. Find more medical and health information at

The information in this message was accurate at the time of publication. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding as well as guidelines and recommendations may have changed since the original publication date..

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