The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has finally issued guidelines for you, for the post lockdown period to help the public minimize risk while venturing out into public spaces. These guidelines prescribe the precautions, so that you can save yourself from the coronavirus pandemic, you are supposed to take in the public places. The guidelines mainly focus on:

-Dining at a restaurant

-Using gyms or fitness centres

-Hosting gatherings or cook-outs

-Going to a nail salon

-Traveling overnight

What do you must know?

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Before you go, call up and ask what extra prevention strategies they are using, like requiring staff to wear cloth face coverings.
  • Wash your hands with soap or handwash and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.
  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask when less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors.
  • Maintain social distancing. Stay at least 6 feet away from others.

  CDC social distancing guidelines

Dining at restaurants: 

Checking out the restaurant’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go:

  • Check the website of the restaurant and its social media handles to see if they have updated their information to address any COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Before you go to the restaurant, call up and enquire if all members of the staff are wearing cloth face coverings while at work.
  • Ask about the options for self-parking to remove the need for a valet service.

Taking steps to protect yourself at the restaurant:

  • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet or more in any hallway, entryway, or waiting area.
  • Wear masks when less than 6 feet apart from other people or indoors.
  • If possible, sit outside at the tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from other people or groups.
  • If possible, choose drink and food options that are not self-serve to limit the use of shared serving utensils, buttons, handles, or touchscreens.

Clean hands:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds while entering and exiting the restaurant or the hotel. If soap or handwash and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that consists at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub both the hands together until they feel dry.
  • Before using the washroom, make sure that there is adequate soap and paper towels or hand sanitizer consisting 60% alcohol.

Hosting gatherings or cook-outs: 

Remind your guests to stay home if they are sick:

  • Remind the invited guests to stay at home if they have been exposed to the coronavirus in the last 14 days or are showing coronavirus symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive patient, should also stay home and monitor their health. Invited guests who live with those at higher risk of contracting the virus, must consider the potential risk to their loved ones.
  • Consider keeping a guest list who attended for potential future contract tracing needs.

Encourage social distancing:

  • Host your gathering outdoors, if possible. If this is not available, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated, for example, there is an open a window or say, a balcony.
  • Arrange the tables and chairs to maintain social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and do not need to maintain 6 feet of distance.
  • If you are planning activities for adults or kids, consider those activities where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or frisbee.
  • When the guests arrive, minimize certain gestures which promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, or do any elbow bumps, or try to give hugs. Instead wave and greet them verbally.

Wear cloth face coverings:

  • Wear cloth face coverings if you cannot maintain a distance of 6 feet.
  • Consider providing face coverings or masks for guests or asking them to carry one with them.

Clean hands often:

  • Consider providing hand sanitizers to your guests in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If handwash or soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry and sanitized.
  • Remind your guests to wash their hands before eating or serving the food.
  • Use paper towels or single-use hand towels for drying hands so that the guests do not share a towel.

Also Read: Progress of Coronavirus Vaccine

Visiting gyms and fitness centres: 

Prepare before you go:

  • Use options for online reservations and check-in systems if they are available.
  • Look for extra prevention practices that are being implemented by the facility, such as new plexiglass barriers, the staff wearing cloth face coverings, and closing of shared locker room space.
  • Be prepared that the locker room access may be limited to the restroom area only, prohibiting the use of shower and changing areas.

Limit activity indoors, especially the group activities:

  • Seek facilities with outdoor space or options for virtual training sessions and classes as much as possible.
  • Limit the attendance at indoor group training classes and sessions.  If you do attend such a session, maintain as much distance as possible between yourself and other people present there, and use a mask if they do not interfere with your activity. If you are indoors, open the windows to increase airflow throughout the space.

Maintain social distancing and limit physical contact:

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance in areas that may lead to close contact among other people, such as the weight rooms or group fitness studios, pools and saunas, courts and fields, walking or running tracks, locker rooms, check-in areas, parking lots, and routes of entering and exiting.
  • Don’t shake hands or give high-fives, do elbow bumps or even touch others because close contact increases the risk of acquiring coronavirus.

Take extra precautions with shared equipment:

  • Ensure the equipment is disinfected and clean. Wipe the machines and equipment with disinfecting wipes and use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol before touching and using those machines.
  • Do not share any items that cannot be sanitized, cleaned or disinfected between use, such as weightlifting belts and resistance bands.

Wear a cloth face covering:

  • Wear a mask when interacting with other people to minimize the risk of transmitting the coronavirus.
  • Wearing cloth face coverings is the most important thing while maintaining distance is difficult. Consider doing any vigorous-intensity exercise outside if possible and stay at least 6 feet away from other individuals, trainers, and clients if not wearing a mask.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before adjusting your face covering.

Going to a nail salon: 

Prepare for your appointment:

  • Book the services in advance to remove the need for waiting in the lobby with other individuals. If the need arises to wait, maintain social distance.
  • Before you reach the salon, call and ask if all the members of the staff are wearing cloth face coverings at work and if there are any physical barriers to minimize risk of transmission, such as plexiglass barriers.
  • If it is allowed by the salon, wait in your car or outside until you can be contacted by a phone call when it is your turn to be seen for an appointment.

Wear a cloth face covering:

  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask at all times when inside the salon.

Wash hands and limit contact with common surfaces or items:

  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer prior to receiving your service and after touching any common surfaces such as curing lamps, doorknobs, countertops, toilets, tables, light switches, phones, faucets, sinks, and keyboards.
  • Use cashless payment options if possible. If not available, ensure that the cash and cards are handled with care by the employees, either by changing gloves between each transaction or with use of hand sanitizer between their clients.
  • Look for no-touch waste bins at the cash registers and in the washrooms.

Traveling overnight: 

  • Make online reservation and check-in, use mobile room key and contactless payment.
  • Before you reach the hotel, call and ask if all the staff members are wearing cloth face coverings at work.
  • Look for any extra prevention practices implemented by the hotel, such as plexiglass barriers at the check-in counters, and physical distancing signs in the waiting area.
  • Ask if the hotel has updated their policies regarding cleaning and disinfecting or removing frequently touched surfaces and items like pens, tables, room keys, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, ATMs/card payment stations, business centre computers and printers, ice or vending machines and remote controls.

Wear a cloth face coverings and limit close contact with other people:

  • Wear a cloth face covering while in the lobby or other public areas.
  • Minimize the use of areas that may lead to close contact with other individuals, such as break rooms, inside lounging areas, outside patios, dining areas, game rooms, hot tubs, pools, saunas, spas, salons, and the gyms and fitness centres.
  • Consider using the stairs. Otherwise wait to use the elevator until you can ride alone or only with the members of your family.

Following the above-mentioned guidelines prescribed by the CDC would surely help you avoid contracting the coronavirus and keep you safe. Stay at home if you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms and avoid any close contact with your family members. Keep washing your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Stay home, stay safe!


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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.