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Image / Editorial

How to host a socially-distanced party


by Megan Burns
04th Aug 2020
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If you’re planning to host a celebration, or just want an excuse to see your friends again, here’s how to host a socially-distanced party. 


Perhaps you have a birthday coming up soon, or want to celebrate an engagement. Perhaps you’re just dying to have your nearest and dearest close to you again (but not too close) after months of staying apart.

Whatever your reason, it’s possible to host a socially-distanced party that still keeps everyone safe, from al fresco drinks to a family barbecue. Here are some tips to help you get planning.

Outside is best 

Although under Phase 3 guidelines, more people are now allowed to gather indoors than before, we know that outside is still the safest place to meet. Luckily, we’re coming into our warmest months of the year, so this shouldn’t prove too much of a hindrance.

From setting up a picnic to an afternoon garden party, there are also loads of fun ideas you can try to make your gathering feel special.

Plan your invites

Before you invite anyone, you need to consider how many people you have space for when you take social distancing into account. It might be a good idea to place chairs out two metres apart to see exactly how many will fit, and don’t invite any more people than this.

Ring rather than text

Sure, you might just usually pop a message into the group chat to tell people what time to turn up, but some people might still be nervous about going to someone else’s house. A phone call can be a good chance to explain exactly how many people will be there and what the set-up will be. They can then make a more informed decision about whether they will feel comfortable attending or not.

Put out hand sanitiser 

Sure, it might not scream ‘Party!’, but better safe than sorry. Having a bottle of hand sanitiser that everyone can access throughout your gathering is a simple way to minimise the risk of transmission, especially before eating and drinking. There are also plenty of options that have beautiful scents and nice packaging that won’t detract from your party vibe.

What to serve?

This is an important one, as whatever food or drinks you serve can create the potential for a lot of common touch surfaces. If you’re worried about this you can simply ask everyone to bring their own drinks and snacks.

If you do want to serve your guests food and drink, it’s a good idea to appoint one person to serve everyone. For example, you could pour out glasses of wine for everyone, leave them on a table and then everyone can go to the table individually to lift a glass, rather than passing them around or letting people help themselves. The same goes for food.

Do you need disposable plates and cutlery?

These can be used to minimise the risk of transmission between your guests and you. However, as long as you wash your hands before placing them out for guests, there should be no issue with using regular plates and cutlery. You could leave a tray or box for people to leave used dishes that you can then put in the dishwasher or take to the sink to make clean-up easier.

Decorate to your heart’s content

Sure, it might feel a little odd to be sitting two metres apart and not sharing bowls of nibbles, but people will be so pleased to see each other again it will soon be forgotten. You can help to create a joyous mood by setting up as if it were any other party, with a table adorned with your favourite tablecloth, flowers, candles: whatever you love most.

Even if you can’t all sit around it, it will still provide decoration and a focal point. You can also use it to set out drinks and food, so your guests can at least point to what they’d like, even if they can’t serve themselves.

Featured image: @hoste.london


Read more: Set the right garden mood with these 5 outdoor fire pits (suitable for Irish weather)

Read more: The best foldable outdoor tables for small patios and balconies

Read more: Outdoor lights to make the most of summer evenings (no electrician needed)

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