Daily Life as Public Health Measures are Lifted

Daily Life as Public Health Measures are Lifted

In Canada and the United States, certain public health measures are gradually being lifted as the spread of COVID-19 slows. Your local government may also be making decisions to lift or change public health measures depending on the level of COVID-19 transmission in your community. Please refer to recommendations and guidelines of the local public health authorities in your jurisdiction. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Helpful General Tips
  2. Using gyms/fitness centres
  3. Travelling overnight and hotels
  4. Going to parks and recreation areas
  5. Events and gatherings (e.g. birthday parties, weddings, cultural events)
  6. Beaches and pools
  7. References
1. Helpful General Tips1,2
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • If available, use online services (e.g. paying online).
  • Maintain physical (social) distancing. You may wear a non-medical mask or face covering if you are unable to consistently maintain 2 metres or 6 feet from others.
  • Before going to a business or service, learn about the preventative  measures they are using (e.g. the use of non-medical masks, curbside pick-up, plexiglass barriers).
  • Continue to practice personal preventative measures (e.g. good hand washing practices; cleaning and disinfecting surfaces; covering sneezes and coughs).
  • When going outside, helpful items to have on hand include: non-medical mask/face covering, tissues, and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Follow specific public health guidelines in your jurisdiction.

2. Using gyms/fitness centres
Photo by Pixabay
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Verify that your gym or fitness centre has implemented public health measures such as:

  • The availability of hand sanitizer 
  • Ensuring equipment is cleaned and disinfected before and after each individual use
  • Closing or limiting the use of shared areas
  • Reorganizing the gym/fitness centre to ensure participants can keep 2 metres away from one another. 

If available, utilize online reservation and check-in systems. 

Refrain from using drinking fountains and bring a personal water bottle.

Refrain from using equipment that cannot be cleaned and sanitized after every use.  

If the kind and intensity of the exercise allows for it, wear a non-medical mask or face covering.

Partake in group sessions that are:

  • Outdoors and with physical (social) distancing measures established
  • Indoors in small group sizes with enough space to allow for all participants to practice physical (social) distancing. 

Read more here:

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Going out: Personal and social activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/going-out-personal-social-activities-during-pandemic.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Prepare before visiting (e.g. Use online check-in systems)

Use outdoor facilities when possible. 

Practice preventative measures while using indoor facilities (e.g. air circulation, limiting number of participants)

Practice (social) physical distancing

Clean and disinfect equipment

Wear a mask if possible

Read more here: 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Personal and Social Activities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html
World Health Organization (WHO)

Disinfectants should be used frequently on high-touch surfaces to reduce transmission. 

Read more here:

  1. World Health Organization. Q&A: Considerations for the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in the context of COVID-19 in non-health care settings. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-considerations-for-the-cleaning-and-disinfection-of-environmental-surfaces-in-the-context-of-covid-19-in-non-health-care-settings
3. Travelling overnight and hotels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
  • For Canadian citizens and permanent residents, it is advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada and avoid all travel on cruise ships outside of Canada. 
  • Take necessary precautions against respiratory illnesses if travel is essential. 
  • Refrain from spending time in large crowds. 
  • Avoid contact with ill individuals, especially individuals with a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. 
  • Be cognizant of the local situation and follow local public health guidelines. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds. If soap and warm water are not accessible, utilize an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is suggested to always keep an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you when you travel.
  • Utilize your arm to cover your mouth and nose to minimize the spread of germs. Promptly dispose of any tissues used and wash your hands. 
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering as an added measure to protect others around you when it is not feasible to maintain physical (social) distancing in public situations. 
  • Monitor your health. 

Read more here:

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Pandemic COVID-19 all countries: avoid non-essential travel outside Canada. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221 
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel restrictions, exemptions and advice https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Avoid all non-essential travel; travelling increases the risk of getting COVID-19, so staying at home is strongly recommended. Do not travel if you have tested positive for COVID-19 or if you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 over the last 2 weeks. 
  • If travelling is essential, adhere to public health advice. If you are travelling internationally, follow your destination’s restrictions. 
  • Before you travel, determine the hotel’s policies about social distancing, cleaning, and disinfection. 
  • Ask in advance if the hotel staff will be wearing masks.
  • Refrain from touching surfaces; use online reservations and touch-free payment. 
  • Wear a mask while you are in the hotel’s common spaces. 
  • Practice physical (social) distancing; refrain from entering areas where social distancing is not possible (ie. saunas, spas, game rooms). 
  • Try to take the stairs instead of the elevator to practice physical (social) distancing. If this is not possible, wait until the elevator is empty, and ride by yourself or with household members. 

Read more here: 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Personal and Social Activities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html
World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Essential travel in cases of emergencies and humanitarian work are prioritized.
  • Individuals who are sick or at higher risk (e.g. individuals that are elderly, have underlying health conditions and or chronic diseases) are recommended to postpone or avoid international travel to and from locations experiencing larger outbreaks. Individuals confirmed to have COVID-19 or been in contact with the virus should not travel. 
  • If postponing travel is not possible, it is recommended that high risk individuals wear a medical face mask throughout their travel. Others can wear a non-medical mask to help prevent transmission.
  • Proper hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene should be followed. Remain up to date on the policies of the airport and airline and follow their recommendations. 
  • Inform travel attendants if you develop symptoms during your travel. For 14 days after arrival, self-monitor for any symptoms. If you develop symptoms upon arrival or were in contact with COVID-19, get tested. 

Read more here:

  1. World Health Organization. Q&A: COVID-19 travel advice for general public. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/travel-q-a-for-general-public 
  2. World Health Organization. Public health considerations while resuming international travel. https://www.who.int/news-room/articles-detail/public-health-considerations-while-resuming-international-travel
4. Going to parks and recreation areas
Photo by Caleb Oquendo
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
  • Engage in activities where physical (social) distancing can be maintained to minimize the risk of spreading or becoming infected with COVID-19 (e.g. activities that can be done safely by yourself, low contact sports, activities that include only individuals residing with you).
  • Keep away from large groups of people at beaches, picnic areas, lookout points and trail entrance/exits.
  • After touching communal surfaces, such as park benches, washrooms, and playground equipment, wash or sanitize your hands. 
  • Refrain from using public drinking fountains by bringing your own water bottle and refreshments.
  • Refrain from sharing items, such as toys and swimming/sports equipment, with individuals who do not reside with you or who are not a part of your close social circle. 

Read more here:

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Measures to reduce COVID-19 in your community. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/measures-reduce-community.html 
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada.  Personal and social activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/going-out-personal-social-activities-during-pandemic.html 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Do not go to parks or recreation areas if you have COVID-19 (with symptoms or without symptoms) or have been around someone with COVID-19. 
  • Prior to going, ask if the park or recreation area has open restroom facilities and other necessary services. 
  • Avoid going to crowded parks.
  • Go to outdoor facilities that are near your home.
  • Practice physical (social) distancing.

Read more here: 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html
World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Follow proper hand hygiene, washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer before going outside, upon arrival and when returning home
  • Maintain physical (social) distancing
  • Comply with local health authorities recommendations regarding use of public outdoor play or exercise equipment

Read more here: 

  1. World Health Organization. Q&A: Be Active during COVID-19. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/be-active-during-covid-19

5. Events and gatherings (e.g. birthday parties, weddings, cultural events)
anniversary birthday blue bow
Photo by Pixabay
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

The following factors can contribute to the chance of spreading COVID-19 at community gatherings:

  • The number of individuals,
  • The characteristics of the individuals,
  • The interactions participants have at the community gathering,
  • The measures implemented by the organizers of the community gathering to reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 can be minimized at community gatherings by:

  • Holding an online event or supplying event-related information and resources online
  • Ensuring participants maintain physical (social) distancing 
  • Limiting the number of participants at the community gathering at any one time
  • Establish physical barriers between employees and guests where feasible to do so
  • Ensure unwell individuals do not attend the community gathering
  • Provide accommodations to guests who are at a higher risk of becoming ill 
  • Ensure items shared between individuals are cleaned and disinfected
  • When physical (social) distancing is not possible, use non-medical masks

Read more here: 

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Measures to reduce COVID-19 in your community. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/measures-reduce-community.html
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/public-health-measures-mitigate-covid-19.html#_Community_gathering_spaces
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Prepare beforehand:

  • Ask the venue about the health precautions they are taking to contain the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Do not attend events if you have COVID-19, are expecting COVID-19 test results, or have been around anyone with COVID-19. 
  • Aim to remain within your community when attending events. 

Practice physical (social) distancing

  • Be aware of crowded areas, such as check-in spaces and parking lots. 
  • Avoid crowded bathrooms during high-peak times (intermission, right after the event). 

Wear a mask, especially if it is difficult to consistently maintain physical (social) distancing. You should also wear a mask when there is singing, chanting, or shouting at events. 

Use contactless options, such as touchless garbage cans, contactless payments

Do not use self-serve facilities (e.g. buffets). Use grab and go options instead.

Right before eating and after touching frequently used surfaces, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. Alternatively, use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

Read more here: 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Personal and Social Activities. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html
World Health Organization (WHO)

Follow local regulations regarding events and gatherings.

Do not attend if you are feeling ill. 

Wear a mask. Practice physical (social) distancing.

Cover coughs and sneezes. Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth.

Clean hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If organizing an event or gathering:

  • Choose an outdoor or well-ventilated venue
  • Avoid potential crowding through varying arrival and departures of attendees, numbering the entries, assigning seats & marking floor
  • Provide supplies such as hand hygiene stations (e.g. hand-washing stations with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers) tissues, bins, masks, distance markers

Read more here: World Health Organization. Q&A: Small public gatherings and COVID-19. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-small-public-gatherings-and-covid-19

6. Beaches and Pools
Photo by Jess Vide
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
  • Although COVID-19 is not thought to spread through water, it can be spread through close contact with others.
  • Practice preventative measures (e.g. physical (social) distancing, covering coughs and sneezes)
  • Avoid sharing swimming equipment (e.g. goggles, pool toys, nose clips, lifejackets) that have not been cleaned after each use.

Read more here:

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Prevention and risks. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Prepare beforehand

  • Do not go into public spaces if you have COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms, are expecting test results, or were around someone infected with COVID-19. 
  • Ask in advance if the beach or pool has proper safety precautions to contain the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Bring extra supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectants). 

Practice physical (social) distancing 

  • Avoid areas where practicing physical (social) distancing is challenging or not possible. 

Wear a mask

  • If you are not in the water, wear a mask. 
  • Wearing a mask is very important when practicing physical (social) distancing becomes challenging. 
  • Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette when you are not wearing a mask. 

Wash your hands and do not share personal items

  • After you enter and exit the beach or pool, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. 
  • Wash your hands immediately before eating and drinking. Use at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are unavailable. 
  • Refrain from sharing personal items.

Read more here: 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visiting Beaches and Pools. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/beaches-pools.html
World Health Organization (WHO)

If following restrictions set by national guidelines, swimming pools and beaches can be used. 

  • Ensure physical distancing
  • Do not share drinks
  • Wear a mask as recommended by local guidelines 
  • Follow hand hygiene 

Read more here: 

  1. World Health Organization. Q&A: Staying at hotels and accommodation establishments and COVID-19. https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-staying-at-hotels-and-accommodation-establishments-and-covid-19
7. References

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Disclaimer: The information regarding COVID-19 is changing constantly as more data become available. The information provided in this website is not meant to replace diabetes healthcare team or public health agencies recommendations, and is intended for information purposes only. Please check with your healthcare providers for any deviations from your care plans.


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