Nudists in US Are Angry Over Coronavirus Mask Requirements

This summer, life at nudist resorts across the country will look a little different due to mask requirements amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some nudists are not happy about it since it means they cannot be completely nude, especially at one resort that bans tan lines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended wearing a face mask to help slow the spread of the virus, with some cities and states requiring them as the number of cases continues to rise.

"It's a little bit odd when that is the only part of the body that is clothed," Megan Robinson, the general manager for Empire Haven in the Finger Lakes area of New York, told the Wall Street Journal. The nudist resort's slogan is "Get away from it all. Your worries. Your cares... even your clothes." That will be difficult this year with a face mask. Some nudists who spoke with the Journal were frustrated by the idea of wearing a mask and nothing else.

The Solair Recreation League in northeastern Connecticut asked guests to wear masks in common areas and where social distancing is impossible. The resort prides itself on "no tan-lines," regular visitor Ronna Krozy said. Although she will wear a mask, one person recently called to say they will not because it would "ruin their suntan," Solair board member Nancy Greenhouse said. "We have had some pushback," she added, although most visitors agreed to wear masks.

The DeAnza Springs Resort in San Diego County, California, re-opened for just small groups in April and opened up for more visitors in mid-June, with a face coverings requirement. Owner Dave Landman even came up with an ingenious advertisement featuring a woman wearing a pink mask with the slogan "The only tan line you'll get here." Landman still had to admit it was a "really weird" situation. "All of a sudden, you've got people with masks on, which would be the last thing you would expect," he said. Most people at DeAnza have been following the requirement, but are not exactly happy about it infringing on their "right" to be nude.

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Another nudist who spoke with the Journal, Karen Gventer, said she visits Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park in Toronto with her family, and they have posted social distancing signs throughout the resort. Visitors have been asked to keep masks with them at all times in case they go inside, which can cause a unique predicament. "I have to remember to bring a mask with me because I don't necessarily have it in a pocket," she said. "We don't have pockets."

Surprisingly, experts do not see nudism with a mask as any more dangerous than wearing clothes with a mask. "I don't see wearing clothing as being much of a risk factor," University of Florida epidemiologist Cindy Prins told the Washington Post. When asked if swimming and sunbathing can slow the virus' spread, Prins said it all depended "on whether you're doing social distancing."