Wondering how to host a safe and socially distanced garden gathering? With the rule of six or a meet of two households outdoors back on the cards, now is the perfect time to plan the a safe garden mingle.
“It’s been a long year for everyone and a lot of people have gone a very long time without being able to see their loved ones,” the interior specialists at Hillarys say. “As the first lot of lockdown restrictions lifted from Monday (March 29th), six people or two households can now meet outdoors and in private gardens.”
From sanitising tables to keeping a safe distance, take a look at some of the tips to ensure your garden visits are carried out safely…
1. Keep a safe distance
You might be outside, but it’s still important to keep a safe distance of two metres from others. If you are putting out chairs in the garden, place them a decent distance apart so guests will know where to sit — especially if you are all from different households. It’s also important guests stick to the same chair, so ensure you communicate this clearly as they arrive.
2. Wear a mask
Don’t forget to wear a mask upon arrival. As well as this, pop your mask on when you are walking around or entering the home to use the toilet.
“Whilst masks outdoors isn’t mandatory, for extra safety you could still wear your mask as guests arrive as well as when they leave; only taking them off when you are at a safe distance and even better, only to eat and drink,” say Hillarys.
3. Have hand sanitiser at the ready
If guests are unable to wash their hands with soap and water, make sure you have hand sanitiser gel at the ready. As well as asking them to use it upon arrival, ask guests to use it before eating or when they come into contact close to anyone.
Hillarys add: “Ensure there is enough hand sanitiser to go round, making sure all guests use sanitiser upon arrival and after anything they touch that may come into contact with someone else. You could even ask your guests to bring their own hand sanitiser so what you have doesn’t run out too quickly.”
4. Ask guests to bring their own food and drink
While there’s nothing better than a crowd-pleasing barbecue, asking guests to bring their own food in reusable containers will help to limit the spread of the virus. Whether it’s tasty picnic food or something to grill, this will ensure your guests don’t worry about how food is handled.
Politely remind them before they arrive. You could even suggest a theme for food, such as a Mexican Fiesta, so you can still enjoy it together. “Guests should be understanding in these circumstances and you might even find they offer to bring their own food rather than you going to the effort,” Hillarys explain.
5. Sanitise tables and chairs
Before guests arrive, be sure to give tables and chairs a thorough sanitise. As well as giving people a peace of mind, this will provide everyone with their own place to sit. If you don’t have enough chairs, there’s no harm in asking people to bring their own folding camping chair.
Once they leave, use this as an opportunity to clean everything once again. It’s also advised you keep everything outside in the fresh air for 24 hours to kill any lingering germs.
Hillarys add: “To ensure your guests feel as comfortable as possible in your company, offer hand sanitiser to them regularly and make sure to wipe over anything people touch to avoid possible spread of infection.”
6. Avoid going inside
While you should avoid heading into someone’s home unless necessary, the government has explained that guests can use the bathroom and walk through someone’s property to enter the garden.
According to Heart, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Yes, people can move through a private household to get to a garden if they need to. Yes, as I say, the same as the situation last year [about using the toilet].”
If you are having to walk through someone’s house, we recommend you wear a mask inside. As well as this, avoid touching anything and wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water.
7. Plan a socially-distanced activity
Keep the good times rolling by playing a safe – and fun – outdoor game. Once you’ve finished your food, why not suggest touch-free charades or bingo? Perfect for a group of six, we’re certain guests will love joining in.
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