Be Smart: Covid-19 & Picnics
Are outdoor picnics COVID-safe gatherings?
Picnics can be nice way to gather with your family or friends and enjoy a meal outdoors. While, the provincial rules state you could have an outdoor picnic with as many as 100 people, it’s important to weigh the risks of having that many people get together right now. Here are some important questions to ask yourself:
- How busy or crowded will it be? Will it be easy to stay 2m/6ft away from those outside your social circle? Outdoor events are lower risk than indoors.
- Are face coverings/masks encouraged? It is recommended to wear a face covering even when outdoors if it is a large gathering.
- Will there be alcohol? Consuming alcohol, even small amounts, can lower our inhibitions and we may take fewer precautions.
- Has there been an increase in cases locally? Avoid traveling to or from areas with many active cases.
If at any time, even though you are outdoors, you cannot keep that physical distance between different households or social circles please wear a face covering.
But, it’s a picnic, how are you going to eat with a mask on?
Picnics are meant to be social and fun, but these are challenging times. When it comes time to eat, be sure chairs, picnic benches and blankets are arranged so that meal time is with your social circle or your own household with at least 6 feet or 2 metres between “circles” or groups.
When you wander away from your circle or household to say hi to someone else, put on your face covering or maintain a physical distance of 2 metres or 6 feet.
Are there any special precautions people should take with food?
Covid or no Covid food safety is always important: bring the food you prepare for your picnic in coolers, or insulated bags, with ice and ice packs. Separate raw from ready to eat ingredients, prep and serve foods on clean surfaces, cook foods thoroughly and, chill meat, eggs, dairy and leftovers at 4 degrees Celsius or cooler. And last, but not least, don’t forget hand hygiene: wash or sanitize your hands before and after you prepare food and before and after you eat. See the Food Safety pages at healthunit.org
Please visit our Covid-19 page at healthunit.org or call 1-800-660-5853 with your Covid-19 specific questions.