How to Stay Safe at the Beach:
- Visit a beach close to your home. Traveling long distances to visit a beach can help spread COVID-19 to other areas
- Do NOT visit a beach if you are sick. Instead, use Alberta’s Online COVLID-19 Assessment Tool to see what additional steps you need to take.
- Be prepared before visiting the beach:
Be informed of any COVID-19 restrictions or closures in place at the beach or park. These may include limits on the number of beachgoers allowed at any one time, restrictions on using recreational equipment and amenities (playgrounds, spray pads, etc.), caps on the number of vehicles in parking lots, and reduced access to public washrooms
- Read and follow the rules posted on signs at park/beach entrances. Be sure to listen to municipal staff/enforcement who may be there to direct, assist and remind people about physical distancing rules
- Always practice physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart – roughly the length of pool noodle – from others whether on the beach, in the water or in public washrooms
- If you are a parent or caregiver, bring ‘fun’ items to help children keep physical distancing in mind at the beach. Tents, umbrellas, and blankets can be helpful visual reminders. You can also put distancing into fun terms for kids… like staying one hoola-hoop, one pool noodle or six beach balls apart
- Carefully choose a spot on the beach that leaves enough space for you to stay a safe distance from others. Avoid crowded areas and do not gather with others outside of your family/household
- Do NOT take part in organized activities like beach volleyball, frisbee, football, etc. with other people outside of your family/household. Remember, Alberta is currently banning groups of fifteen or more people at any one time
- Have a back-up plan. If it’s too crowded at the beach, consider doing another fun activity instead
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Be sure to bring (and use) hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes (stored in a cool dry place) to the beach, especially if soap and water are not be available
- Keep your distance from others in the water by avoiding close contact with other swimmers. Avoid swallowing water and do not spit, spout or blow your nose in the water or near another person. If you can, leave the water and use a tissue to cough or sneeze, then wash your hands
- If you want, wear a face covering (or cloth mask) when physical distancing isn’t possible on the beach. NEVER wear a mask in the water, as it can make it difficult to breath
- Take your garbage and recyclables home with you, especially any gloves or masks you wear
- Be patient at all times, especially if you have to wait to enter the beach and other facilities. Give other beach-goers time and space to safely enter or exit vehicles
- If using a high-touch surface like a picnic table, clean and disinfect before and after use.
- Don’t forget other safety rules while at the beach. Swim safely, especially keeping an eye on children and new swimmers. Be sun safe by applying sunscreen with SPF of 30+.