As state governments start to ease COVID-19 restrictions and new case numbers hit record lows, 2021 is looking to be the year of healing that we’ve all been waiting for.
Soon, summer barbeques, pool parties, and family gatherings will be back in full swing. But, in the meantime, it’s important to consider how we can go out and see our loved ones in the safest way possible.
If you plan on hosting an event or get-together this summer, here are some of our tips on accommodating crowds and catering events during COVID as safely as possible.
Make Sure Your Guests Are Vaccinated
By far the easiest way to keep your events safe is to make sure your attendees have been vaccinated.
For months, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 was a logistical nightmare. You could be too young to get one, too healthy, or maybe your city ran out of doses.
Thanks to an increase in vaccine supply and a decrease in demand, getting vaccinated is easier than it has ever been. In some states, major retailers are even offering same-day vaccine appointments.
If you want to avoid some of the obstacles in holding a COVID-safe gathering, making sure your guests have at least one dose is a good way to do that. Just be sure to send your invites early enough in advance to give all your guests time to get vaccinated.
Hold the Event Outdoors
Depending on the weather where you live, this might not work for you, but the CDC still recommends holding large events outdoors.
Studies show that COVID spreads much easier in indoor spaces with poor or no ventilation. Because of this, the CDC still recommends holding outdoor events instead of indoor ones whenever possible.
If you want to make sure your event doesn’t get ruined by unpredictable weather, establish a rain check date on your invite. Just make sure to also run this date by your catering service!
Maintain Social Distance
How many times have you heard this one in the past 16 months? It may sound redundant these days, but the CDC insists it’s still very important.
If you are hosting multiple families or households (especially with a range of ages and health conditions), encouraging groups to stay six feet apart is still one of the best ways to ensure event safety.
This can be a difficult rule to implement since your guests will need to act at their discretion. At the very least, you can seat families at their own tables and make sure only one family is in line for food at a time.
Set Mask Guidelines in Your RSVP
Now that states are quickly changing their COVID-19 restrictions, whether you’re supposed to wear a mask or not is becoming a grey area in a lot of situations.
To keep your guests on the same page, make your mask-wearing preference clear to your guests in your RSVP. Of course, you should encourage everyone to take whatever measures make them feel safe, but you should also communicate your personal guidelines to your guests ahead of time.
Keep Families Together
Similar to our third suggestion on this list, one of the best ways to ensure event safety is to encourage your guests to stay with their families or groups as much as possible.
Of course, you will have cases where groups will want to mingle with those that they haven’t seen in a while, but at least try to remind people to stay six feet apart from others when they can.
One of the easiest ways you can do this is to assign each family a table or section before the event starts. This way they can accommodate your event’s guidelines as best as possible.
Invite Only to Avoid Crowds
Anyone who has hosted an event before knows how quickly strangers can get added to the mix once people bring along their girlfriends, neighbors, etc.
While this is perfectly fine in most cases, your guests bringing their plus ones and other friends can put everyone at risk. Furthermore, depending on your state’s regulations, this may put the venue at risk of violating capacity limits.
If you want to keep your crowds as manageable as possible, then don’t be afraid to remind your guests that you would like to everything you can to keep a safe amount of people at your event.
Follow Local Guidelines and Safety Measures
Even though most local restrictions make hosting a large gathering much easier than in previous months, the pandemic is still going on. So, following the guidelines of your area and your venue is still as important as ever.
Some basic things you can do are encouraging guests to bring their own utensils, keeping hand sanitizer on every table, and avoiding self-serve/buffet-style catering options. Small things like using touchless garbage cans help too.
When in doubt, you can check frequently with your venue and your state’s COVID-19 safety guidelines to make sure you are not putting anyone at risk or breaking any rules.
When You’re Ready, We’ll Be Here
As the world continues to go back to normal, we are excited to see that chances to mingle with our friends and family are coming back into our lives.
Whether it’s this year, next, or even later; if you have an event to plan for or crowds to please, be sure to check out our blog for all the recipes and yummy foods you’ll need.
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.