If there’s any consensus about the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that indoor gatherings are out and outdoor gatherings are in. That means that it’s the perfect time to fire up the old grill and get a few friends or family members together for a good old fashioned barbecue. Especially with the summer months slowly winding down as July moves to August, it’s important to enjoy the sunshine while you still can.
Although outdoor activities are much safer than doing things inside, you’ll still want to take some precautions before moving forward with your event. Here are just a few tips to keep in mind as you plan a socially distanced barbecue this summer.
Set out tables and chairs ahead of time.
One of the key components of all guidelines surrounding coronavirus safety is social distancing. In order to help your guests maintain the proper amount of distance, make sure to set out chairs and tables ahead of time. To do this, simply get out your tape measure, and ensure that adequate distance is maintained. While six feet is the general rule from the CDC, it won’t hurt to set tables and chairs eight feet apart if you have the yard space.
Have a gameplan for food prep.
When it comes to serving food to your guests, you’ll want to make sure that you eliminate all need for contact. One way to go about doing this is to prepare side dishes ahead of time and set them in smaller coolers at each table and chair before your guests even arrive. Of course, you’ll need to ensure you leave a pathway to the grill since once you’re finished cooking up some fresh burgers, brats, and dogs, it’ll be important that each guest can serve themselves individually.
Treat your masks like fashion and accessorize!
You know you’ll be wearing your mask when not socially distanced, so it’s a good idea to consider how to pair your mask with the rest of your clothing choices. Just like jewelry or hats, masks are a great accessory option, and pairing your mask with another clothing item in a similar pattern or color scheme can be quite chic. Consider getting something lightweight and airy, like a ruana wrap, and you’ll be the talk of the barbecue! Chico’s has a wide variety of ruana wraps, including different patterns and prints, making it easy to match with your mask.
Don’t neglect backyard safety, too.
Speaking of safety precautions, if you plan on opening up your pool for guests to enjoy, make sure that you’ve installed the proper safety equipment. Many people will likely be more focused on their personal protective equipment, but there are many ways you can safeguard your pool and the rest of your yard to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time. Swimming pool netting, for example, can be a great way to keep your pool safe, especially if children will be at your barbecue. Even if you do plan on swimming at your cookout, it’s important that kids stay out of the water until they can be supervised by an adult, so make sure to install a net, fencing, or pool cover in order to keep everyone smiling and safe on dry land.
Make a bathroom plan.
Make sure to communicate with your guests ahead of time about how going to the bathroom will work during your event. For example, you may want to only let one person into the bathroom at a time. Beyond that, having adequate amounts of hand soap and even extra disinfectant spray and wipes for the sink may also be a good idea. Ultimately, it’s important to cater to your most sensitive guests when coming up with the right protocol that will give everyone peace of mind and let them have a great time.