Summer’s here, temperatures are soaring and the beach is calling. However, faced with the prospect of a mass exodus you naturally may have reservations about overcrowding and safety. It’s understandable; even though Coronavirus lockdown restrictions are easing, the ‘new normal’ means that things simply aren’t the same as before. From wearing face masks on public transport, to facilities such as public toilets being closed, a simple day out to the beach is not as straightforward as it once was. Here’s a few things to consider before heading off on your day trip to the coast:
Before you set off for your favourite stretch of sand, check the local council’s website to ensure it’s actually open. Despite news reports showing throngs of beachgoers, lots of places have had beach closures. Nobody wants to journey to a cordoned off beach, so avoid disappointment by checking ahead. If you don’t have a car and plan to take public transport, be aware of the safer travel guidelines for passengers. You may find only limited services as yet, so check availability of trains, buses, trams etc. Depending on where you live, there may still be restrictions about how far you can travel to access a beach.
As mentioned, up until now various beaches have been shut off and their car parks closed. Even if they’ve now re-opened, you may want a beach with good accessibility for families and people with mobility issues. Some are well set up with ramps for wheelchair users and in some cases may even offer beach wheelchairs for hire. Now that we are faced with the prospect of being able to get out and about a bit more, you may even be considering upgrading your mobility products – such as Powered wheelchairs from Fenetic, which are electric, energy efficient and easy to use. Pick a beach that has good access onto the sand and it will also make life easier when bringing beach paraphernalia such as cool boxes, windbreaks, parasols etc.
Taking Safety Precautions
The Covid-19 Pandemic has taught us the importance of high personal hygiene standards. When handwashing isn’t possible, hand sanitiser is recommended as well as not touching surfaces and your face. This strongly remains the case and it therefore makes sense to bring water and soap for handwashing and bottled hand sanitiser along on your trip. Leaving alcohol based sanitiser in a baking hot car can cause a fire hazard, so beware of that. Maintain social distancing towards other people on the beach and ensure you take all litter with you or carefully place in a bin. If you feel like taking a dip, remember that lifeguard provision may be reduced or non-existant. Check out the Government’s latest update on bathing season 2020.
Even though things are opening back up, places like public toilets are generally still closed. This is due to Coronavirus surviving for longer periods on hard surfaces and the risk of aerosol droplets caused by toilet flushing, which can spread the virus up to one metre. The lack of toilets makes life difficult for everyone. Some people have been purchasing portable urinals for this reason which you can get at camping shops, for example. Whatever you decide, it is certainly a key consideration when you’re planning a day out.
Always ensure you have lots of water to drink when spending time at the beach, as it’s easy to become dehydrated. Taking a picnic with you may be your best option in the current climate until cafes and restaurants fully re-open. Takeout and supermarket meal deals are an alternative, but most catering and hospitality businesses are currently busy ensuring they are COVID secure and ready with all the necessary social distancing and PPE requirements for businesses in place, ready for the imminent re-opening.
There’s nothing quite like a sunny day at the beach to make you feel good and with a bit of planning it can be a safe and happy experience.