Summer tradition, Salt River Tubing, returns after stay-at-home order expires

Salt River Tubing reopened on May 16 with new regulations to keep people safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With Arizona's stay-at-home order lifted as of Friday, hundreds tubed down Salt River on Saturday despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new addition to the summer tradition, visitors must have their faces covered and be socially distanced while waiting to enjoy the river.

"Cover your nose, cover your nose," says Lynda Breault with Salt River Tubing.

She went up to people all day, asking them to wear masks and be socially distant as they waited to get onto the river.

Employees spray painted lines 6 feet apart for guests to stand on, and everyone had to wear a face mask or a bandanna given out for free.

RELATED: Salt River Tubing reopens with new safety measures

"We expect you to wear it during the tube rental process, tube return and shuttle bus," Breault said.

Another precaution: Only 15 at a time were allowed to board the shuttle bus, though the normal capacity is 72.

"You don’t want to spread the germs with this COVID-19," said Antonio Harris from south Phoenix. He said it’s a little strange being in a big environment like this again.

"Especially for us extreme extroverts, it’s kind of weird, you become so introverted," he said.

Jessica Pittington from Washington has been waiting to make a trip for tubing.

"As soon as I saw it on Facebook, I immediately made plans to do this today," Pittington said.

She said she didn’t feel too at risk tubing.

"It’s probably not the safest decision, but we’ve been inside for two months so hopefully we’ll just get our distance from other people once we’re out on the river," she said.

Regardless of all the precautions being taken, Breault says of opening day, "It’s a blast."

For more information about Salt River Tubing, visit