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Etiquette expert encourages social distancing at holiday parties

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jul 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 18:38:18-04

CLEVELAND — The sun, the warm weather and the Fourth of July holiday are drawing people outside for the weekend. It also means people are getting together in groups.

Catherine Holloway, an etiquette expert, advised people hosting parties to make sure guests are staying safe.

"That's why you have to remember that you're the hostess. And, your job is to make sure your guests are at ease,” she said.

Holloway recommends having the party outside if possible. Set up chairs and tables six feet apart in advance, and encourage people to bring their own food to limit the amount of sharing.

She also said to have extra masks and hand sanitizer ready for guests who did not bring theirs.

“But as a hostess you also set the boundaries and you set the rules. So we don't want to forget about that,” Holloway said. “You have the right to set up the rules you want for your home and your party but still take care of your guests. So, it's a thin line.”

Holloway is an expert at throwing parties. She said getting together during the COVID-19 pandemic looks different than it did last summer.

“I think our primary goal is that we all want to stay safe and healthy for our families…so we want to take that into perspective that we all acknowledge that this is a challenging time,” she said.

Holloway stressed being kind but assertive if you have to stress the rules of your party, like asking people to wear masks and to stay socially distanced while attending.

“I think if people have a calm conversation about it, it makes it much better. And you have to realize, once again, that you’re the host,” she said. “These are your rules that you set up, the boundaries as you want them to be.”