Public Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor recreation is a great way to stay active and healthy.  When deciding whether to go to a park, beach, or other public outdoor space, individuals should consider factors that impact the risk of COVID-19 transmission in a certain location, including how closely and for how long you will interact with people, the number of different people with whom you will interact, how well an area is ventilated, and whether other people will be wearing face coverings.  More information about stopping the spread of COVID-19 can be found here.  Wearing a face covering is not recommended while exercising or swimming, so increased physical distance (10 feet) between persons who do not live in the same household is recommended.  Your own ability to wear a face covering and risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19  may be important considerations as well.  

Please visit the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) website for more information about visiting parks and beaches.

Relative Risk Levels for Events and Public Settings:

Lower Risk:

  • Staff and visitors can maintain appropriate physical distance and wear face coverings.
  • Staff and visitors do not share food, equipment, or supplies.
  • Hand washing facilities are available.
  • Small gatherings only include household members.

Moderate Risk

  • Staff and visitors maintain appropriate physical distance.
  • Equipment, toys, and supplies are shared sometimes; shared surfaces are cleaned regularly.
  • Handwashing facilities are available.
  • Smaller gatherings occur with people from other households.

Higher Risk

  • Staff and visitors do not maintain appropriate physical distance.
  • Staff and visitors freely share food, equipment, or toys.
  • Large gatherings or events occur.
  • Visitors may come from outside of the region, potentially from areas with high community transmission of COVID-19.

Sporting Events

Guidelines for recreational sports can be found in the Forward Virginia Guidelines.  VDH has released some additional Considerations for Recreational Sports.