Coronavirus and the Outdoors: A Guide to Good Practice

The message is starting to get through respecting government directives and putting social distancing into action to make a difference and save lives.

While waiting for the return to normalcy, certain practices related to sports and the outdoors still raise doubts and questions. Here is a small guide of good practices to follow.

Due to the social isolation measures in effect, various businesses and organizations have had to close or restrict access to their services and facilities. Here is an overview of some of the outdoor activities at the beginning of the pandemic.


It’s an irresistible desire to escape the pandemic to the mountains. If the resorts are completely closed, there are still summits accessible for alpine hiking.. Tempting! But please, don’t do it.

Beyond the risk of accidents and the consequences for emergency services in these difficult times there is the real danger of spreading the virus. Buying gas, food, lodging: the risks on the road are potentially present to contaminate yourself or others.

Coronavirus and the Outdoors: A Guide to Good Practice


Under the circumstances, is it possible to visit local parks? Yes… and no. Of course, you must follow the latest guidelines: no grouping, a minimum distance between individuals and quarantine if you are coming from abroad or if you have signs of the flu.

That being said, it’s a good idea to get out and about in the fresh air when you’re not too far from home and away from crowded areas. Walking, running, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing... change the bad around your home. When they are still open, public services (toilets, ticket offices, cash registers, restaurants…) should be avoided as much as possible.

On March 20, following the government’s recommendation to avoid travelling from region to region, it announced that it was closing access to the territory of all its parks and wildlife reserves, until further notice.


The idea is excellent on the surface, but in its application, it is much less. With spring just around the corner, it’s tempting to use children’s parks and pods as an alternative gym. While some influencers are excited to take action in this way, they should not be followed. Since we know that the coronavirus can remain on certain surfaces for more than 24 hours (and potentially airborne for 3 hours), we can imagine the risk of contamination.

In Montreal and Laval, the modules and playgrounds of all parks are now closed. Protect yourself, protect others: do your pull-ups at home!


We’ve all thought about it: escaping to the wilderness and wishing we could return when the pandemic is over. In reality, accommodations are closing or limiting their activities. In any case, just imagine the meticulous cleaning required between the different residents to avoid the risk of propagation.

In the Sépaq network, accommodations are already closed and even Airbnb has announced a cancellation policy without penalty, for both the visitor and the host, until April 14. Another proof that, even if it is possible to find a roof to rent somewhere, the best idea is certainly to stay at home.


It’s not an issue yet, but outdoor cycling could become an issue with the arrival of spring.

For the moment, there are no guidelines restricting the practice, except for the closure of certain facilities in the centers where fatbike is practiced. Will we be able to ride when the road or trails allow it? It’s still early to say, but if what is happening in Italy and Spain is any indication, nothing is certain.

There, outdoor cycling for any purpose other than buying food or medicine is prohibited until further notice. With their emergency rooms overwhelmed, both countries are keen to limit the risk of accidents. The measure carries heavy fines and even jail time…


Far from being a necessity, shopping for your next tent or raincoat in person is avoidable. To protect their employees and customers, more and more retailers are reducing their business hours or closing their stores temporarily.

The good news is that online shopping is continuing and is made easier, and many companies have chosen to eliminate shipping costs.


People-to-people sales on classified ads or Marketplace are still going on. Should you be concerned? The timing might be better, but if you have to make such transactions, follow the rules of prevention suggested by the authorities.

Then keep your distance and quarantine the purchased items – which should be considered suspect – until they are disinfected.

Borrowing equipment from family or friends? Everyone should be equally cautious, both when borrowing and when returning.


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