This Is What Matters As Florida Allows Reopening Of Youth Sports, Summer Camps And Recreation Activities

By Arthur L. Caplan & Lee H. Igel

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida says it is time for kids to have some summer fun playing sports and going to camp together again. After two months of shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, sports leagues, summer camps and organized recreation activities across the state are now being allowed to reopen. Beyond the symptom screening, sanitizing and social distancing, what needs to be done to help ensure that kids can go running, jumping, swimming, kicking and screaming in a safe way?

Florida has had something of an early lead when it comes to managing sports in coronavirus times. In mid-April, with professional sports suspended, WWE was cleared to stage wrestlers-only television events after DeSantis designated “professional sports and media production with a national audience” at a location “closed to the general public” as essential services. And throughout the pandemic, the NBA and MLB have been among the major leagues exploring plans for restarting their seasons at sites in Florida, including Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. But those decisions have concerned paid adults—not kids—getting back in the game.

The decision to lift restrictions on youth sports and recreation activities, according to an announcement from DeSantis, was based on a few key factors. One is the low COVID-19 infection rate among children. Another is concern for children’s physical and emotional health. A third is what youth sports and recreation programs could contribute to local communities and economies.

Florida has recorded just over 50,000 of the more than 1.6 million COVID-19 cases in the United States to date, according to Johns Hopkins data tracking. The state has also recorded about 2,200 of the more than 100,000 deaths across the country. There are all sorts of suggestions as to what is leading to those relatively low rates in Florida—from public response to social distancing measures and disaster response from experience with hurricanes to early orders banning outside visitors from entering nursing homes and restricting COVID-positive patients from returning to nursing homes after they were sent to hospitals. Meanwhile, like many places around the nation and the world, Florida hasn’t been without its share of people missing the point. Crowding at popular public places, especially beaches and bars, has made headlines. So, too, have questions about officials manipulating data to make the coronavirus case numbers appear better than they might actually be.

In any case, Florida appears to be weathering the pandemic in good enough condition to begin reopening many services. One of the last states to issue a “safer-at-home” order, it is one of the first states to go ahead with opening up organized sports and recreation activities.

Sports and recreation are an important part of healthy childhood. Sports and recreation promote lifelong physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth

France, favourite vacation destination for so many, looks inwards to save summer

LA BAULE-ESCOUBLAC, France, (Reuters) – The sweeping Atlantic bay in La Baule-Escoublac should be filling up with holidaymakers taking advantage of a series of long weekends in May. Instead the only activity is a bulldozer and excavator reshaping the shoreline.

Construction machineries are seen in action on the deserted beach of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

With France under lockdown, tables and chairs lie stacked on the outdoor terraces of beachfront restaurants in the western resort town as their owners plan how to reconfigure seating to respect coronavirus social distancing rules once the government says they can re-open.

La Baule-Escoublac is a ghost town. It offers a snapshot of the financial uncertainty facing the tourism industry in France even as it and other European nations start winding down their restrictions on public life.

Nearly 90 million foreign tourists visited France in 2018, making it the most visited country in the world, according to government data. Tourism accounts for about 7% of France’s 2.3 trillion euro ($2.48 trillion) economy.

“We’re not used to seeing the beach like this. The quicker things pick up the better,” said Pierre Guillou, who manages the waterfront restaurant Les Fils a Maman.

Guillot’s problems extend beyond when the beach will open. He wants to know who will be able to visit the resort’s cafes, restaurants and shops.

Across Europe, countries are grappling with just how much freedom of movement to restore, both across borders and internally.

France begins easing its lockdown from Monday but will initially impose a 100-km (60-mile) travel restriction on people inside “red zone” COVID-19 hotspots, including the greater Paris region, unless it is for an urgent family or work-related reason.

There will also be a compulsory two-week quarantine for travellers – whether French or foreigners – arriving in the country from outside the European Union’s Schengen open-border area and the United Kingdom.

President Emmanuel Macron has told the French they should holiday in France.

“We’re going to limit big international trips, even during the summer holidays. We will stay amongst Europeans, but perhaps we will have to restrict that further still,” the president said this week.

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EU policy on reopening borders remains disjointed. For example in neighbouring Italy, the outbreak’s early epicentre in Europe, anyone arriving from abroad currently faces a fortnight in quarantine unless on a short business trip.

It all leaves Parisians in the dark over whether they will be able to decamp to the Riviera, the Dutch uncertain if they can drive their motorhomes to Spain and British unsure if they can hop the Channel and spread around France this summer.

France’s Dordogne area, a favourite with Britons, is not banking on anybody coming from very far away. So far this year, the region has already lost an estimated 93 million euros in tourism revenues, according to the Dordogne tourist board.

“We’re going to lose our foreign clientele this year,”

Will COVID-19 be the death of summer vacation?

Editor’s Note: COVID-19 has forced the closure of schools nationwide – in some cases for the rest of the school year. Here, Jon Pedersen, dean of the college of education at the University of South Carolina, expounds on what the school shutdowns could mean for the traditional summer break.

Will schools make up lost time this summer?

This should be decided by each school district in conjunction with state education agencies. A blanket approach is not the best option, nor an assumption that every school district, even within a state, is addressing the needs of all students in the same manner through online learning. Students in the poorest zip codes and in rural areas where there is a lack of connectivity and a digital divide are likely to lose the most as schools attempt to finish the year online.

Many families own cellphones – about one in four adults living in households earning less than US$30,000 a year have smartphones, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet the homes in many cases lack broadband internet access. Smartphones don’t offer the same capacity to connect or engage in online learning that computers or even tablets offer.

Furthermore, it is not yet clear how this pandemic will impact the summer slide, which is the learning that gets lost during summer vacation. New research indicates that the “COVID slide” could be worse than the summer slide.

Many teachers have reported that a lot of kids are absent for the online classes that are being held in place of regular classes. In most cases this is in areas that lack connectivity and in communities that are economically challenged. This means many schools and districts will have to plan interventions for children who’ve fallen behind.

Will COVID-19 become the death of summer vacation?

It is possible that it will be the death of summer vacation for this year. As Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, has stated, “You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.”

This also goes for America’s public schools. Even if school is held this summer, I don’t think the change will be permanent. Schools districts may consider continuing in the summer as an option to remediate students prior to the start of a fall. However, it is unlikely that schools will decide to continue with year-round schooling in future years. Research on year-round school has been mixed, with some studies showing the advantages, such as year-round remediation and eliminating the boredom during the summer, and other studies showing its disadvantages, such as impacting family schedules and the higher cost of operating a school throughout the year.

What is the origin of summer vacation?

It has been widely shared that the predominance of agriculture as a main industry dictated the very nature of the school year in the 1800s and early 1900s. But at that time, there were no standards for the amount of time spent in schools and certainly not a uniform standard

11 travel apps to start summer vacation planning now

Editors’ note: This post has been updated with new information about several of the apps.

Whether you’re dreaming of a summer getaway but need reservations, or just need help navigating your already-planned journey, the app stores are full of apps to give you a hand. The summer travel season is here in the northern hemisphere, so we’ve rounded up some of the most useful travel apps, all of which are great for long vacations and short trips alike.

The first section is dedicated to apps that help you book reservations for flights and hotels, and the next group helps you pack your bags. The third keeps you organized en route and the final collection has apps that will help you find something to do when you’re at your destination.


Research and reservations

These apps will help you book your travel reservations, including flights, hotels and car rentals.


Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Hipmunk

Android and iOS; Free

Hipmunk is well known for its travel booking service, and its app is extremely easy to use to book flights and hotels. You can use it to find hotel deals near you, browse hotels by city, and search for flights.

What’s unique about the app is that, when hunting for flights, you can sort your search results with a filter called Agony. That means you’ll see itineraries with the least amount of layovers and hassle first, followed by longer trips that may be less expensive. You can also create fare alerts for a particular search and the app will let you know when there’s a deal on flights.

What’s great: The app has a clean design, which makes selecting flights easy.

What’s not: You can’t book your travel from the app, and you can’t set specific price alerts for flights or hotels.



Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

Trivago

Android and iOS; Free

This simple app helps you find just the right hotel in the right area. You type in the city where you want to stay, choose your dates, pick your room size, and then run a search. The app will show available hotels on a map, so you can see if that beachfront resort in Maui is actually next to the ocean.

You can filter your search results by price, rating and amenities, such as free Wi-Fi or a pool. For each hotel listed, you’ll see prices from the major booking companies, including Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com and Travelocity.

What’s great: Trivago’s helpful map makes it really easy to find a hotel exactly where you want to stay.

What’s not: You can’t book a reservation in the app, and you can’t sort prices by the type of room.



Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Kayak Pro

Android and iOS; 99 cents

Kayak Pro is an old standby for finding flights, but updates over the app’s long lifespan have added tons more to help you plan your vacation.

You can start with

17 Summer Vacation Ideas for Your Kids

What do your kids do on their summer vacation? Many kids go to camp, or visit relatives, or enroll in special classes designed for children. But no matter if your kids are heavily scheduled, or if their time is completely their own, summertime is a perfect time for kids to experience boredom, forcing them to be creative. It’s a time to follow interests, discover new passions, and experiment. But even the most self-entertaining child sometimes runs out of ideas, so here are some items they can add to their summer checklist.

1. Explore outside. Being outside in nature is important for all children. Fresh air, exercise, and observation of the natural world are synonymous with childhood. See what your kids can discover about the area around your house, and about themselves.

2. Make a pet rock. When they are out exploring in nature, kids can choose a rock. Something not too large, and with a smooth enough surface to take paint or sticky items. When they bring it back, once washed and dried it can be decorated with paint, glitter, sticky foam, googly eyes, or whatever is needed to make the rock into a new pet. And here’s the best part: It doesn’t require food or cleaning up after.

3. Go stargazing. Summer is the perfect time to go stargazing. It isn’t too cold at night, and a family snuggle on a blanket looking up at the night sky is an enjoyable way to learn together. Read up on a few constellations and planetary locations ahead of time, and your kids will think you’re a genius.

4. Study the weather. Set up a little weather station and measure rainfall, wind direction, and temperature. Chart these over time to see how the weather changes in your area. Compare notes with a cousin who lives in a different city.

5. Watch movies. Movies that your kids missed in the theater but are out on DVD still make for an exciting way to spend a lazy afternoon when it’s too hot to play outside. Popcorn and lemonade make good accompaniments.

6. Catch up on geek classics. This is a fantastic opportunity to indoctrinate your kids in the all-important geeky movies, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Princess Bride, Back to the Future, WarGames, Tron, and others. And for older kids, set them on Monty Python, The Matrix, Akira, and Highlander.

7. Read books. That says it all.

8. Visit the library. Most local libraries have summer reading programs, special craft project times, puppet shows, teen clubs, and other fun things organized specially for the summer. Check the schedule at a library near you.

9. Build with Lego. Kids can build free-form projects, or modern art pieces. If they run out of ideas, challenge them to build a spaceship, a plant, or a robot. See who can assemble the most realistic Dalek. But no instruction is really necessary here. We’ve all been building with Lego since we could hold up a 2×4 brick. Give

Programs | Summer Work Travel | Programs

Sponsors are required to:

  • Provide pre-arranged and fully-vetted employment to all participants who are not from a visa waiver country. Provide all participants, prior to entry:
    • A copy of the Department of State Summer Work Travel Program Brochure;
    • The Department of State’s toll-free emergency hotline telephone number;
    • The sponsor’s 24/7 immediate contact telephone number;
    • Information advising participants of their obligation to notify their sponsor when they arrive in the United States and to provide information of any change in jobs or residence; and
    • Information concerning any contractual obligations related to participants’ acceptance of paid employment in the United States, if pre-arranged.
  • Sponsors of participants who are nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries must:
    • Ensure that participants entering the United States without prearranged employment have sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their search for employment;
    • Provide such participants with information on how to seek employment and secure lodging in the United States before they depart their home countries; and
    • Provide participants with a job directory that includes at least as many job listings as the number of participants in their program who are entering the United States without prearranged employment.
  • Sponsors must undertake reasonable efforts to secure suitable employment for participants unable to find jobs on their own after one week;
  • Sponsors must inform program participants of Federal Minimum Wage requirements and ensure that, at a minimum, participants are compensated at the prevailing local wage, which must meet the higher of either the applicable state or the Federal minimum wage requirement, including payment for overtime in accordance with state-specific employment; and
  • Sponsors must maintain, at a minimum, a monthly schedule of personal contact with the program participants (in-person, by telephone or via-electronic mail), document such contact, and ensure that issues affecting the health, safety and welfare of participants are addressed immediately.

More information

2020 Program Date Chart

2020 Program Date Chart (PDF)

Program Exclusions

Sponsors must not place participants:

  • In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
  • In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
  • In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
  • As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
  • As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
  • In positions related to clinical care that involves patient contact;
  • In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
  • In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am;
  • In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labor at Subpart E of 29 CFR part 570;
  • In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing, massage, manicure);
  • In positions that are substantially commission-based and