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Parks, restaurants, and other public places are open throughout the Austin area. But that doesn’t mean the risk of illness is gone.
Please consider these safety tips to keep you and your family safe when you’re out and about.
- Know Before You Go
If you’re out with your family, pick a place that you know isn’t going to be super crowded. Maybe a neighborhood park rather than a big metropolitan park. Or, call the restaurant ahead and ask if they’re taking reservations so you don’t have to stand in a waiting area. You may also want to ask how busy they are to avoid being turned away due to capacity issues.
- Stick To The Outdoors
The virus appears to spread through airborne droplets and droplets that land on surfaces, which means it’s easy to get on your hands. Outdoor activities limit your exposure to these surfaces. Plus, the open air makes it harder for airborne droplets to reach other people and it’s easier to stay socially distant.
- Avoid Shared Surfaces
Wherever you are, it’s likely that there are shared surfaces around. Even at a park there are playgrounds, benches, etc. Try to stay away from those items or, at the very least, wipe them down before using them. You should also attempt to limit sharing or passing items to others – especially if you don’t live in the same household.
- Limit the Amount of People You Contact
While we’re all dying to see our friends and family, meeting up with a ton of people isn’t the best idea. The best recommendation is to create a closed circle of friends. But remember that a closed circle does not eliminate harm, but it does minimize it.
- Take/ Wear a Face Mask
Even though we can’t wear a mask while going out to eat, it’s still wise to have one on hand if you walk into a slightly crowded area where six feet apart is tough. We also recommend wearing your mask while the waitstaff is at your table. Even if you’re outside in a more dense area it’s best to wear a mask. Safety first!
- Watch Where You Set Your Keys and Phone
Wiping your items down with disinfectant is wise. Another smart idea is to avoid putting your phone or keys on dirty surfaces. Instead, make sure to put them in your purse or pocket. Or better yet, keep unnecessary items in your car.
- Practice Good Hygiene
Press crosswalk buttons with your elbow, not touching your face, not spending too much time in a public restroom — these are all easy practices we can do while in public. Be mindful of not touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Paying with a credit card instead of cash is also best if you’re out to eat. Plus, try to always bring your own bottle of hand sanitizer and wipes when possible.
- Keep Social Distancing
As we’ve mentioned throughout this list, social distancing is still extremely important. No matter where you are, respect the space of others. Even if you don’t believe it will help or you don’t mind people in your space, respect your friends and neighbors and practice the six foot spacing recommendation. Better safe than sorry.
- Be Kind
These changes are affecting everyone. So please, be kind and patient to others when you go out in public. We’re all in this together!
Looking for ideas of things to do while practicing social distancing?
Try one of these lists:
- Here’s How To Get Out Of The House in Austin And Still Be Socially Distant
- Great Ways To Safely Get Out Of The House With Your Family in Austin
Featured photo via @shessoquinn on Instagram.
Free Fun In Austin continues to highlight Austin area locations and activities that may not be available at this time. We encourage you to take all safety measures to keep yourself and your neighbors safe. It is our hope that the stories and features on this site will help inform your plans in the future.