Thanks to Covid, the way we socialise has had to change dramatically. And with summer around the corner, many of us will be looking forward to celebrating with friends over a good old fashioned BBQ. Amazingly enough, a garden party is a great way to meet up with mates in these times, because fresh air disperses and dilutes the Covid virus, while ultraviolet light from the sun should kill any virus that’s out in the open. That means that our favorite summer pastime don’t need to be cancelled, just adapted to the situation at hand. But there’s still a risk of transmission, so there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider before you open up your garden and fire up your barbie.
Carefully Consider your Guest List
The rules change every few weeks on how many people you’re allowed to see, so check here to ensure you know the guidelines in your country. Such restrictions can make it a bit awkward when organising a social event like a BBQ, as it often means leaving out some of your mates. But hopefully that’s just an excuse for another gathering on a different day.
Keep Guests Informed
Make sure that all your invitees are on the same page and will be comfortable with the set up when they get to your garden. It’s worth checking that none of them have any symptoms of fever, a cough or a sore throat and you should ask them to wear a mask on arrival.
Keep It Clean
There are a few cleanliness issues you need to consider. To avoid washing everything up and extra worries around germs, you should buy plates, cups and cutlery that can be thrown away. It goes without saying that you should be cleaning and disinfecting your BBQ before and after use, and using gloves when you’re cooking.
Think ahead to the bathroom situation – it’s likely guests will need to visit the toilet (especially if the drinks are flowing), so you’ll need to ask them to wear a mask inside and sanitise their hands before and after. Provide paper towels instead of a fabric towel to avoid any transfer of germs.
Avoid Sharing Food
It doesn’t make sense to cook food that has to be hand carved, or to serve everything buffet style. Sadly, for now at least, those days are behind us. The best idea is to cook things like burgers, sausages and corn on the cob – individual items that can easily be picked up with tongs. Chicken thighs, pork chops and cauliflower steaks are other delicious, suitable items to add to your menu.
When using plastic cups, make sure to provide guests with a marker to write down their names so no accidental sharing happens.
Everyone will understand the “Bring Your Own” nature of your BBQ. From booze to condiments and salt and pepper, it’s better to be safe than sorry and these are easy for your guests to pack in their bags and bring themselves. That way, everyone can relax and celebrate being together again, knowing they’ve done all they can to be safe.