All 50 states have now reopened in some way. After months indoors, Americans are jumping at the chance to get outside and enjoy summer.


Fortunately, the risk of transmitting the virus is much lower outdoors than it is indoors, especially if you can maintain at least 6 feet from other people.

What outdoor activities are safe, and how can we decrease the risk of COVID-19?

Beaches: Walking on a beach without lots of people has almost no risk. But even a more crowded beach doesn’t lead to much higher risk compared to an empty one when you maintain distance and avoid crowds.

Outdoor sports like tennis and golf are good because they’re non-contact sports where you keep your distance.

Swimming, in the ocean or pools, is also good. The virus doesn’t appear to survive in water and chlorine environments. Just be careful about large groups of people socializing close together.

Community fairs and farmers markets can have large crowds, so try to keep your distance and bring a mask to wear if you can’t.

Outdoor bars: These tend to be more crowded. Despite everyone’s best intentions, people tend to talk and sit close together, and there are a lot of shared surfaces to touch, so the risk is low but-not-zero.

It all comes down to how much risk you’re willing to take. People in high-risk populations, such the elderly, people with underlying conditions, and those who are in close contact with members of high-risk populations, may want to avoid these activities.

But for most people, getting outdoors this summer will be relatively safe and enjoyable.