Have you been wanting to visit your favourite restaurant or park during the coronavirus lockdown? Be prepared to take necessary precautions once the lockdown eases and you can step out. It is always better to be safe even while having fun outings with our family or friends. Follow the safety tips shared here to ensure you can enjoy leisure activities while staying protected from coronavirus.
1) Do Your Research
Before you choose a mall or restaurant to go to, it is a good idea to do some research on the Covid-19 situation in that area. You may choose the leisure place to visit after checking government updates to see whether it is in a containment zone or whether the spread of coronavirus there is minimal. Also, as far as possible, opt for outdoor spaces instead of indoor spaces where it is easier to maintain social distancing.
According to CDC, activities are safer if you can maintain at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others, because COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within 6 feet of each other.
2) Choose Your Leisure Activity Wisely
Certain places like a restaurant are built to have shared items like cutlery, utensils, glasses, crockery. Sharing of items not disinfected properly may pose a risk towards germs and infections. For leisure, choose places where there is limited sharing of items such as malls or nature parks or gardens, etc. and where any items that are shared are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses. You may also choose to visit places that announce and show how they have increased cleaning and disinfection to protect others from Covid-19.
3) Choose Your Leisure Time Wisely
If you are going to a restaurant, make a reservation before going. You can thus avoid crowded waiting areas. For a visit to the mall or the theme park or any other leisure place, choose a time and day when you think fewer people will be on the premises. For instance, instead of going on a weekend, go on a weekday in the afternoon. Such simple planning can help you stay safe from crowds and coronavirus.
4) Wear a Face Mask
Wearing a face mask is easily one of the most important safety practices when you go out. It is important that you and people around you wear a cloth face covering when in public and particularly when it is difficult to stay 6 feet away from others consistently. Because, as you may be aware, coronavirus can travel up to several feet after an uncovered sneeze or cough. Thus, wearing a face mask when placing your order with the service staff at a restaurant or while speaking with a shopping assistant, will protect both you and the other person.
Don’t forget to discard off the mask safely once you return home. If you want to know how to safely dispose of your face mask, read our handy guide.
5) Maintain Personal Hygiene
You may be correct in staying home if you are feeling unwell. Step out to have some fun time only after you have completely recovered. Wash your hands before, during and after stepping out. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based sanitiser. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands.
All throughout your fun visit, keep sanitising your hands. Do so especially after touching the shopping trolley, after completing your shopping, after using the lift/ escalator, after touching the menu card, after removing your mask before eating the freshly served meal, before and after using the washroom, etc. Ensure you wash and sanitise your hands the right way.
Also follow proper respiratory hygiene when outside i.e. cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, handkerchief, elbow. Don’t forget to discard the tissue immediately in a closed bin.
6) Maintain Safe Distance
Maintain a distance of minimum 6 feet from others. This reduces the chances of coronavirus landing on you or your clothes, bag, etc. from someone’s uncovered cough or sneeze. This may be more doable in an outdoor space such as open-air restaurant. You may use signs and other visual cues given by these leisure places as a reminder to stay apart. This includes markings on the floor, placement of chairs in restaurant, signboards and so on.
If the restaurant, mall or park has installed physical barriers, like plexiglass screens or modified layouts, take advantage of those.
7) Opt for Contactless Experiences
As a safety measure, restaurants, hotels, malls, parks are increasingly adapting their processes to become contactless. Make use of that. For instance, make payments using digital wallets or net banking instead of using cash. Ask for a digital menu instead of using the physical menu card, which may have been touched by multiple patrons. Self-park instead of handing over your car to the valet. Take the escalators instead of lift. Check with the service provider on other contactless options they are offering.
8) Travel Safely
If you are using your personal vehicle to travel to the mall, restaurant or other leisure places, it is a good idea to park it yourself instead of handing it over to the valet. If you are using public transport such as taxi, autorickshaw, train or bus to reach your destination, then do keep these safety tips in mind.
If you are considering air travel after lockdown, please check with the airlines and follow all their guidelines. Also, follow all Centre and state government guidelines and rules.
9) Carry These Hygiene Essentials
When you step out, carry tissues, a good alcohol-based hand sanitiser and face covering with you to stay protected while having fun. Remember to maintain hand washing hygiene and always use soap and water or a sanitiser.
Keep these tips in mind while you make plans to go out after the lockdown is lifted.