How To Golf And Fish Safely During Covid-19
Niki Brown Law Student at New England Law
Across the nation, most golf courses and fishing holes were closed in March and April.
Many wondered why. To some, the two sports seem like ideal ways to get some exercise, and have some fun, while maintaining phyiscal distance from others. In early May, a poll found that 41% of Americans wanted golf courses to re-open, more than any other type of business.
By the end of June, most cities and states had allowed golf courses and fishing holes to re-open. However, experts still advise outdoor sports enthusiasts take precautions.
Here's what golfers and fishing fans need to know in order to protect yourself and others from the Coronavirus.
Contact your local marina
Before making any last minute decisions to go fishing, call your marina to make sure they are letting people fish. Many beaches that re-opened in May are shutting down over the 4th of July. It's unclear if fishing boats will be allowed in the water.
Keep fishing trip short
If you plan to take a fishing trip, plan to cut your time in half to avoid larger crowds.
See if the marina is scheduling fishing times in order to keep the area at a certain capacity.
Don’t travel too far from home
According to the fishing guidelines implemented by Washington State, it is best to stay within your area to avoid spreading COVID-19. Medical experts have stated many individuals are asymptomatic and it is best to travel within your community rather than out of state.
It is likely that fishing charters will have a maximum number of people per boat.
One fishing rod equals 6ft
It is important to continue social distancing while fishing, even if you are in a boat. If you are not sure you are 6 feet apart from other people, use a fishing rod to measure the distance. They are usually six feet long.
Wear a mask, especially on a boat or if other fishing fans get close to you. But if the mask gets wet, put a new dry one on. Wet masks are less effective, and can contribute to dehydration.
Disinfect all fishing materials
If you are renting fishing materials and a boat, make sure to bring disinfectant materials such as wipes and spray.
If you are using your own equipment, make sure to disinfect everything once you leave the marina before you use it again.
Call your local golf course and see if you can reserve tee time. By doing so, you are limiting contact with people in the office.
Pay for your tee time over the phone or online to limit contact with others.
Go home once your round if finished
Most golf courses will require that you play your game and leave the premises. This is because they either have a maximum capacity number or they have restricted the use of other facilities on the property.
Handle your own golf bag
It is likely that golf courses will not have caddies to assist you due to COVID-19. It is important that you are responsible for your own belongings. If you require assistance, contact the golf course and ask about their caddy protocols.
Don’t touch the flagstick or cup
Be sure to not make any contact with the flagstick or the cup. This will limit contact with others who previously played the game.
Don’t shake hands with other players
Out of safety, you should not be touching anyone else at this time. That means no handshakes, no matter how great a game went.
Don't rent a golf cart
Many golf courses have disallowed golf cart rentals. If you find a course that does, try to walk anyway so that you can maintain a six foot distance from your buddies.
If you are golfing with someone you live with, a cart could be OK. But be sure to wipe it down before and after you use it.
If you would like more information regarding restrictions in each state, visit https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2020/coronavirus-state-restrictions.html
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