California lists dozens of outdoor activities permitted under stay-at-home rules

Daniel Rogerson wears a vintage military gas mask in Santa Monica.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday urged residents to avoid the beach — and even ordered the shores of Orange County closed.

But state officials emphasized there are many outdoor activities that Californians can do while adhering to the stay-at-home order, which has helped slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Like what? Well, tree climbing, crabbing, meditation, trampolining, outdoor photography and washing the car to name a few.


There has been a growing push in some communities to ease the restrictions. Newsom announced a plan to reopen the economy over the coming months, but has also urged caution, saying lifting the rules too early could lead to more outbreaks and hurt the economy more in the long run.

“Why put ourselves in that position when we are just a week or two away from significant modifications of our stay-at-home [order], where we can begin ... to reopen sectors of our economy that are low-risk?” Newsom asked Wednesday.

The governor ordered Orange County beaches closed on Thursday despite opposition from local leaders.

California officials still have a lot to do before they can meet the benchmarks that Gov. Gavin Newsom set to reopen the economy and lift restrictions on daily life.

April 30, 2020

“Specific issues on some of those beaches have raised alarm bells,” Newsom said. “People that are congregating there, that weren’t practicing physical distancing, that may go back to their community outside of Orange County and may not even know that they contracted the disease and now they put other people at risk, put our hospital system at risk.”

Newsom said Orange County beaches would be reopened soon if the situation improved.

The state on Thursday released a “non-exhaustive” list of “health activities” permitted under stay-at-home rules.

“It’s OK to go outside to go for a walk, to exercise, and participate in healthy activities as long as you maintain a safe physical distance of six feet and gather only with members of your household,” the state said.


Here are the activities listed:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton (singles)
  • Throwing a baseball/softball
  • BMX biking
  • Canoeing (singles)
  • Crabbing
  • Cycling
  • Exploring rock pools
  • Gardening (not in groups)
  • Golf (singles, walking – no cart)
  • Hiking (trails/paths allowing distancing)
  • Horse riding (singles)
  • Jogging and running
  • Kite boarding and kite surfing
  • Meditation
  • Outdoor photography
  • Picnics (with your stay-home household members only)
  • Quad biking
  • Rock climbing
  • Roller skating and roller blading
  • Rowing (singles)
  • Scootering (not in groups)
  • Skateboarding (not in groups)
  • Soft martial arts: tai chi, chi kung (not in groups)
  • Table tennis (singles)
  • Throw and catch an American mini-football, frisbee or frisbee golf (not in groups)
  • Trail running
  • Trampolining
  • Tree climbing
  • Volleyball (singles)
  • Walk the dog
  • Wash the car
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Yoga

Newsom unveiled a broad outline of a plan to lift his stay-at-home order and slowly ease the restrictions on Californians in four stages in the weeks and months ahead. The governor also announced that schools could potentially reopen in July or August, catching educators who were learning about it for the first time off guard.