We can finally travel! Where to?

Image provided by Sana Tea and Desert.

Under quarantine, many recreational activities were unavailable, and most people had to entertain themselves at home. Now, as people become vaccinated, places are opening back up, and they can finally enjoy a night out with friends. Guidelines are somewhat inconsistent, so here is a guide as to what is open and what is safe.

Food and Drink:

Most restaurants are now open for indoor dining. The CDC considers indoor dining to be high risk for spreading COVID, particularly if tables are not socially distanced, so takeout is still the best option for eating out. However, for fully vaccinated people, the risk is significantly lower and generally considered safe. For new places to eat that opened recently, try Sana Tea and Dessert. They have a small menu of specialty teas and coffees, made with rich and distinct flavors. What they may have less of in variety they definitely make up for in quality. It’s just a pop-up, so not outdoor or indoor seating, but you can order at an electronic kiosk for takeout. 

The new Sana Tea and Dessert is open at 36476 Fremont Blvd. Image provided by author.

Parks:

Most hiking trails are now open, though social distancing is recommended. Hiking is quite safe due to the open air, even without masks or vaccination. For a new trail try the Vargas Plateau Regional Park in Fremont. The Cliff Trail in particular gives a beautiful view of the Niles Canyon from above. Washington senior Caitlin Starmer regularly hikes around the Bay Area. She says that “in general, people are advised to socially distance and wear masks when hiking… Since we are usually passing and it’s outside, most people are okay just to socially distance without masks.” She recently hiked at Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park, and she “absolutely recommend[s] new hikers go! There are a variety of trails for all experience levels and it doesn’t get too busy at the right times.” 

Lake Elizabeth is closed to all boating activities. Image provided by author.

In the Fremont park system, most activities are opening back up. The community tennis courts, skate parks, playgrounds, basketball courts, and picnic tables are open.  Several indoor community centers are completely open, including the Centerville Community Center, the Patterson House at Ardenwood, and Shinn House. Others are only open for permitted rentals, such as the Teen Center and the Sports Complex. However, boating and lake use is still closed.

Patterson House at Ardenwood Farms. Image provided by Google.

Theaters:

The San Francisco and San Jose Broadway Theaters are now open. Made Up Theater in Fremont has also opened again for live performances. They are operating at 50% capacity, and require a vaccine card and photo ID to prove full vaccination status, as well as masks. For those who do not want to risk it, they are also streaming performances on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch. Movie theaters such as Century at Pacific Commons and XD are recommending masks for everyone, and requiring masks for unvaccinated people. The CDC does consider close quarters indoor activities such as going to theaters to be among the “least safe” activities, but they are substantially more safe with full vaccination. Washington senior Nathan Law recently attended Century at Pacific Commons, where he watched Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. About the experience, he says “Shang-Chi was not a movie that I was particularly looking forward to but going out to see a movie was a good opportunity to get out of the house and spend time with family.”

Community park requirements. Image provided by author.

Museums: 

Museums are generally less crowded than theaters, so the CDC considers them safer (although they are still less safe than simply going outside). The Children’s Natural History Museum in Fremont for example limits capacity, and recommends masks indoors. The Niles Silent Film Museum has also finally opened up, but their silent film theater will remain closed until winter.

Alameda County Library is opening again. Image provided by author.

Long-Distance Travel:

Long-distance travel, particularly by airplane, can be dangerous due to large numbers of people in security lines or in terminals. Viruses do not spread much inside of the airplane due to the circulation and filtering of air. Nonetheless, currently, masks are required on airplanes, though proof of vaccination is not.

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