As we head into Labor Day and approach the waning weeks of summer, most of us are eager to spend as much time outside as we can. The Mayo Clinic offers a guide to safe outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor Day is traditionally a time for last minute vacations, road trips, and barbecues. But with coronavirus still a factor, most are opting for quieter events closer to home. If you are planning a small backyard get-together or BBQ, here are a few guides on how to do that safely. We’ve also summarized some tips for both hosts and guest that were suggested by various guides and health experts
Here are a few helpful guides:
- Martha Stewart: How to Host a Socially Distanced Backyard Barbecue
- Today: Is it safe to go to a barbecue? 5 things you need to know before going to a party
- NYT: How to have friends over
- Washington Post: How to host a get-together as safely — and graciously — as possible
- CDC: Considerations for Events and Gatherings
Safety tips for backyard gatherings
- Know your local guidelines about gathering sizes, but all experts agree: smaller is safer – and likely more comfortable for your guests.
- Check in with invited guests in advance about any concerns they have. Let them know “the rules’ so they feel comfortable and will respect your wishes. For example, rules about social distancing, what they should bring (their own beverages) or shouldn’t bring (shared food dishes, unannounced guests) and any bathroom rules, such as flushing with seat down.
- Respect boundaries if people decline an invitation. Don’t take things personally.
- Skip the hugs and handshakes on welcoming guests.
- Maintain social distancing – measure the space on your deck or your yard in advance to see how many seats can be accommodated 6 feet apart and base guest numbers on that.
- Keep it outside. Have a plan to postpone if the weather turns bad and keep an eye on the weather.
- Wear masks when not eating.
- Wash hands frequently, bring / supply hand sanitizer.
- BYO beverage, or provide them in individual cans or bottles.
- Avoid shared plates, utensils, seasonings or condiments – things that people handle repeatedly.
- Use disposable plates, utensils, napkins and place at each seat.
- Avoid shared food dishes and plates. Provide individual servings.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch areas like doorknobs and bathrooms before, during and after the party.
- In bathrooms, provide paper towels, hand soap on the sink, disinfecting wipes.