Everyone wants to make the most of their summer, especially since we’ve all been hunkering down at home for the past few months. As the coronavirus pandemic persists, it is critical to take extra safety precautions if you plan to host a summer get-together.

Take a look at our tips that will allow you to relax and indulge in a little fun in the sun with family and friends while still taking the necessary health and safety measures.

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Please note: This site does not provide medical or safety advice. All content presented here is for informational purposes only. If you have a question or concern about your health or safety, always seek guidance from a qualified health provider, the CDC and your state’s latest laws before any activities.

1. The smaller, the better.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s considerations for events and gatherings during the COVID-19 crisis, the size of an event or gathering should be determined based on specific state laws and legislation. That being said, it’s always best to play it safe and limit your gathering to fewer than 10 people. When it comes to your guest list, it’s important to ask that no one attends unless they’ve been healthy and symptom-free for 14 days prior to the date of the party.

2. Encourage guests to wear masks, sanitize and stay six feet apart.

The 6-foot rule still applies, people! The safest way to host an in-person gathering is to keep everything outdoors and make sure your party is set up so everyone can take the necessary health and social distancing precautions. Here are some simple-yet-effective guidelines to follow:

  • Space your chairs and tables 6 feet apart.

  • Seat individuals from different households at separate tables.

  • Sanitize hands and surfaces.

  • Wear cloth face coverings.

  • Refrain from sharing objects.

Make sure to distribute some extra bottles of hand sanitizer throughout your party setup, and keep some face masks on hand in case anyone forgets theirs.

3. Use your grill and whip up individual portions.

Grilling is the perfect way to serve your guests delicious food while still keeping your distance and ensuring that no germs are spread on the food. All you have to do is use these grilling tools to help transfer your barbecued meals onto your guest’s plate, hands-free. If you’re hoping to serve up some homemade sides, it’s best to make them before your gathering — with clean hands and a face mask on — and create pre-portioned containers for each individual guest.

4. BYOB or drink prep.

Encouraging your guests to bring their own beverages is a great way for everyone to stay safe and refrain from gathering at the bar or drink table. If you’re hoping to serve a signature cocktail, make sure it’s premade and fill individual, covered cups for guests to grab when they arrive. These festive pineapple cups are a fun and safe way for everyone to enjoy a cocktail — just make sure to use different-colored straws for each so no one mixes up their drinks.

4. Use (festive) disposable dinnerware.

Using disposable plates, napkins, cups and silverware will help protect yourself and your guests from unnecessary germs or cross-contamination. Once guests are done using their dinnerware, they can easily toss it in a garbage can for an easy cleanup without spreading germs. Opt for this set of tropical flamingo tableware or something equally vibrant. Since this set doesn’t include silverware, you’ll want to also check out this party pack of disposable forks, knives and spoons.

5. Plan contact-free and spacious activities.

While a summer party is typically known to include some fun games and contests, this year they’ll have to be contactless (think: Bingo, Charades and Headbanz). If those games aren’t quite your speed, you could always plan to hang out around an outdoor fire pit once the sun starts to go down. This is a great way to practice social distancing and spread your chairs out. And don’t forget to bring out the portable speaker and blast some good party tunes.

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This article originally appeared on the DealTown Patch

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