Can I go to a BBQ?

It’s summer, and that means it’s barbecue season. You’re probably itching to fire up the grill and have some burgers and corn on the cob with friends.

But is it safe? The answer to this is: it depends. The good thing about most barbecues is that they are hosted outside, which is safer than being indoors. But you can’t exactly wear a mask while eating. And since many barbecues are potluck style, it means lots of sharing of food. While an outside barbecue is safer, it’s not risk free.

How can you lower your risk if you want to attend or host a barbecue? The safest option, of course, is to have a remote dinner party - then you can invite as many friends as you want! Here are some tips for making an in-person barbecue safer: 

  • Stay outdoors!
  • Make sure to maintain social distance (at least 6 feet from other people).
  • Wear your mask whenever you aren’t eating.
  • Wash your hands! Use soap and water and scrub vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep it small. And I mean small. The fewer the number of guests, the more distance you can keep and the less likely you are to spread the virus.
  • Instead of potluck, put together individual servings so people don’t need to share serving spoons.

It’s important in these times that we do things that help us feel connected and normal. With a little care and attention, an outdoor barbecue can be a low risk activity.


Last update: July 2, 2020, 11:30 am ET

Science review: GNA, JAB