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Here in Michigan, as with states all over, the quarantine is being lifted very slowly – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be careful!

Most people are gradually testing the waters by having a few people over in their backyards while still practicing social distancing. The weather is perfect for a little barbecue or small garden party, but you’ll still want to make sure everyone has enough space to stretch out and stay safe, even if we can have company over again.

If you’re wondering how to make your backyard appropriate for social distancing while still entertaining company, here’s a few ideas:

 

See how much space you have

The biggest part of social distancing that needs to be focused on is, well, the distance! Guidelines will vary state-to-state, but many health organizations still recommend a distance of 6 feet between people, and a maximum of 10 people per gathering. Before you start calling people over, make sure you have enough room to comfortably accommodate people with that much space between them – just to be sure.

 

Bring the indoors out

During social distancing, you’ll really want to minimize the amount of people that can go inside your house. This means you’ll need to find ways to bring things like drinks and entertainment to your guests without creating a lot of reason for them to dawdle inside (unless someone really needs to use the bathroom). Use bar carts and kitchen carts to create serving areas for drinks and snacks outside on the patio (or just out in the yard, if you feel up to pushing them) so your friends can minimize their trips back into the house. (No offense to your friends, of course, but you gotta be careful!)

 

Arrange everything to encourage (safe) conversation

The point of having guests is to let them all hang out and enjoy one another’s company, but you still need to keep everyone’s health and safety in mind. A good way to promote the right distance is to arrange all your seating in a circle, and offer chairs for everyone that can’t bring their own. Individual seats are good for safety, but bench seating can easily work outdoors so long as the guests sharing it already live together.

 

Keep your yard clean

Above all else, you’ll need to offer a safe and clean environment for your guests to hang out in. Take a look in your backyard and make sure there’s no standing water, un-removed trash, or anything else that germs could’ve been festering on, and wipe everything down good and clean before company shows up. You’ll probably want to wipe everything off after they leave too – just to be safe.

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