Two skydivers prepare for a jump.

How skydiving can still happen safely during COVID-19

March 4, 2021 7:50 pm Published by

The COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. As cases mounted and local and state governments issued new mandates, the world as we knew it began to change. We sequestered in our homes, businesses closed, and activities, once beloved, were put on pause. Admittedly, these anomalous days have been trying, but thankfully, through this adversity, Skydive Perris has adapted.

Though the virus is still an active concern, through consulting with health officials and adhering to strict guidelines, skydive operations have been happening safely at Skydive Perris since late May. As we continue to adjust to our new normal, we wanted to share our experiences and outline how skydiving can still happen safely during COVID-19.

March 17, 2020: Operations Suspended

At Skydive Perris, safety is our first priority. Heeding the advice of health experts and confronted with mounting scientific data, Skydive Perris made the tough decision to close its doors. Initially, we set our sights on resuming on April 3rd — but just five days after our closing announcement, the County of Riverside issued a mandate that prohibited us from resuming until April 30th. As this date drew near, we quickly realized that our mission of safety must come before our love of skydiving, and so, though the skies were calling to us, we remained closed.

May 22, 2020: Doors Reopen

During our closure, we kept abreast of the safety recommendations issued by the CDC. Utilizing this information, we constructed a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Upon reopening, we had a new set of standard operating procedures in place.

These SOPs included the provision of a questionnaire for guests pre-arrival, new arrival protocol such as a temperature check, enhanced aircraft protocol, a mask policy, and increased sanitizing measures — including the addition of multiple handwashing/hand-sanitizing stations, no-touch faucets, and frequent cleaning of shared surfaces. 

A group of skydivers work together during COVID-19.

What We Do Now

As guests arrive, they are greeted by a staff member at the pre-screening check-in. Each guest is asked a series of questions and receives a temperature check. With this check-in protocol, we are actively reducing the possibility that a guest with recent exposure or a guest that is exhibiting symptoms will enter the facility. By reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 carriers entering the facility, we can continue to minimize the spread of the virus.

In addition to the arrival screening, face coverings are required to be worn while at the airport. This includes anywhere indoors, in the loading area and airplane, and in situations where you cannot maintain a minimum of 6-foot social distancing.

The current procedures we have in place allow us to mitigate the risk of transmission and exceed the CDC recommendations for outdoor activities. By enforcing our COVID-19 procedures, we are able to continue operating in a manner that is as safe as possible. However, it is important to note that even with our precautions, we cannot guarantee your protection from exposure to COVID-19.

Common Questions

Can tandem skydiving with instructors still happen?

Yes! Tandem skydiving is happening. Although skydiving is a contact sport, as a primarily outdoor activity, skydiving actually poses a lower risk of transmission of COVID-19 than indoor activities. Like all guests, tandem instructors and staff at Skydive Perris are subject to the arrival questionnaire, temperature check, and mask mandate. By implementing these protocols, we are able to share the sport we love and conduct tandem skydiving operations.

Does everyone need a negative test before entering the dropzone?

You are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test for entry to the dropzone. You are, however, required to answer a questionnaire and receive a temperature check. If you answer yes to any of the questions or exhibit a temperature of 100-degrees Fahrenheit, you will be asked to leave.

Are masks required while in the air?

Masks are not required to be worn while in the air, but they’re required to be worn while you are at the airport, while indoors  (except when eating and drinking in the Bombshelter), while in close proximity to others, and while on the plane. Just before it is time to exit, when the door of the aircraft opens, your mask may be removed.

Is the indoor skydiving simulator open?

Yes! We decided to open our onsite wind tunnel on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). The same COVID-19 safety procedures are in place when you arrive at the office. We allow only one group (1 to 5 people) at a time in the simulator. We don’t mix groups, so you will only fly with the people you came with.  You will be asked to keep your mask on until you enter the antechamber of the tunnel and will put it back on as soon as your flight session is over.

Although things are not completely back to normal, the tides seem to be changing. If you’re ready to venture out, we invite you to join us! Let’s get your knees in the breeze with a tandem skydiving experience at Skydive Perris soon.

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This post was written by Gabriel