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COVID-19: Tips for going out again

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Before traveling check the websites of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for health advisories and self-quarantine requirements. Consider checking the Transportation Security Administration's website and your airline's website for additional guidance.

Consider the risks associated with different types of travel. There might be a risk of getting COVID-19 on a crowded flight if other travelers on board are infected. On a bus or train, sitting or standing within 6 feet (2 meters) of others for a prolonged period can put you at risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. Traveling by car or recreational vehicle often involves stops that could put you in close contact with infected people.

If you're planning on booking a hotel room, check the hotel's website to learn about precautions being taken and if amenities, such as the gym or restaurant, will be open. Bring cleaning supplies with you. When you get to your room, disinfect all high-touch surfaces, such as light switches, sink faucet handles, door knobs and the remote control. Wash plates, cups or silverware before using. Also, confirm the hotel's cancellation policy before making a booking.

Restaurants

Before you go to a restaurant, check the restaurant's safety practices. Are the employees wearing cloth face coverings, regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces and practicing social distancing? Is there good ventilation? Are tables set far enough apart from each other to allow for social distancing?

Ideally, the restaurant won't offer salad bars, buffets and drink-filling stations that require people to use common utensils or dispensers. If you need to wait in line for service, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others.

 

When ordering takeout, try to pay online or over the phone to limit contact with others. If you're having food delivered, ask for it to be left outside your home in a safe spot, such as the porch or your building's lobby. Otherwise, stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from the delivery person. If you're picking up your food at the restaurant, maintain social distancing while waiting in the pickup zone. After bringing home your food, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Gyms

Before going to the gym, call to see if it's limiting how many members are allowed in at the same time. You might have to reserve a block of time in advance, with staff cleaning the facility between blocks. Ask about the facility's cleaning and disinfecting policies and whether you'll be able to use the locker room or bathroom. If you are interested in group exercise classes, ask if they are being offered.

Your gym will likely enforce social distancing by blocking access to every other cardio machine. Follow the gym's guidelines and stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from other members. Clean equipment before and after using it. Some equipment that's difficult to clean, such as foam rollers and yoga blocks, might not be available.

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