SEATTLE, WA — The Fourth of July is a big holiday for camping and other outdoor recreation, and while camping is allowed again for much of the state, the Washington State Department of Health is reminding everyone to try to limit their travel this Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Health officials say they want everyone to be able to get out and celebrate the holiday, but that cross-state travel is dangerous and could help spread the disease, so they should instead consider campgrounds or activities closer to where they live.
“We still want people to limit their travel. We have places in Washington with a lot of COVID-19 activity. If there’s a lot of cross-state travel this summer, that could spread disease around the state,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy.
Despite the limits on travel, many outdoor activities can be done locally depending on which phase of the Safe Start plan the county is in:
|Phase||Travel Restrictions||Outdoor Recreation||Gatherings|
|1||Nonessential travel limited||Hunting, fishing, golf, |
boating and hiking
|2||Nonessential travel limited ||Camping, beaches||Groups of 5 or fewer|
|3||All nonessential travel allowed||Outdoor group sports, |
pools at half capacity
|Groups of 50 or fewer|
No counties are currently in Phase 4, and the state has put a hold on all Phase 4 applications after a recent rise in coronavirus transmissions.
The overwhelming majority of counties are in Phases 2 and 3, so many will be allowed to get out there this holiday weekend. The Department of Health is offering campers these safety tips:
- Stay six feet from others when possible.
- Where a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
- Wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
- If you are in large groups, outdoors is safer than indoors.
The DOH also wants to remind everyone that, if you're camping its still much safer to go only with members of your own household, no matter what phase you're in. And again, campers should only visit campgrounds or parks near their own homes.
“Travel that includes sightseeing and dining out can increase the spread of the disease. If everyone goes about their lives as normal this summer we will likely see a resurgence of cases and may need to close down businesses again which we don’t want to do,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman.