LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — ‘Tis suddenly the season for our first summer barbecue.

The question is how to make the party work during the coronavirus pandemic. As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan found out recently, the answer is with pre-planning and proper etiquette.

As the Fourth of July approaches, many are asking is it possible to party safely during a pandemic?

The following were some of the responses McLogan received when she asked people on Long Island if they would go to a holiday weekend party:

“No, unless they are wearing mask and they six feet apart.”

“If the guest count were maybe a dozen or less.”

“Too close, everybody too close.”

MOREMax Minute: No Medical Conditions Should Prevent Mask Wearing In Public

“If you go to a barbecue, if you are around other people, you absolutely need to wear a mask. You need to socially distance,” NYU Winthrop Hospital Dr. Barry Rosenthal said.

Twelve guests or fewer suggests Rosenthal, and bring your own beer and, in some cases, your own food.

“We prepare our own food when we go to somebody’s house,” one person said.

“I think it is safe to eat food right off of the grill,” Rosenthal said. “You should not be sharing utensils.”


Thomas Farley is a syndicated etiquette columnist known as Mister Manners.

“What a nice touch to be able to bring your own cutlery, or bring your own plates,” Farley said.

He added it’s time to be creative and imaginative.

“The rules of etiquette are being rewritten by the week,” Farley said.

MOREHow Can I Safely BBQ With Friends, Family This Summer? Answers To Common Coronavirus Questions From Dr. Dave Hnida

Many are skittish to attend a backyard barbecue. Experts say throwing a party inside is off limits.

“In your restroom, your powder room, rather than a terry cloth towel, (paper hand towels) can be monogrammed, it can be festive. But this way, it’s single use. They get discarded. You want to make sure you have plenty of soap,” Farley said.

“You don’t know what they’re touching, using their hands,” a person said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The host needs to set limits up front — masks, sanitizer, and separation. No hugs or handshakes.

Doctors say safety before etiquette, and absolutely speak up if a guest has decided to ditch the rules.

“I would definitely confront them and tell them to step back. That’s important,” one person said.

“Rather than single them out in front of everyone, I would try and get them aside,” Farley said.

Have a designated co-host to help enforce COVID etiquette.

“It is safe to jump in and out of pools. It’s not safe to group together on lounge chairs,” Dr. Rosenthal said.

It’s partying in a whole new way — still expressing love, joy, and togetherness — but at a safe distance.

Mister Manners also suggests bringing your own glass or cup, and, if disposable, write your name on it.


Leave a Reply