Five ideas for a great socially distanced meet up

If you would like to see your friends and family over the coming weeks, but you have no idea what activity to do together, look no further. Sarah Ward talks about some of her top ideas for a socially distanced meet up.

Last week, the Prime Minister announced that from 1st June, groups of up to six people from other households will be able to enjoy socially distanced meetings in parks and private gardens. These changes mean that we will finally be able to spend time with friends and loved ones, provided we keep to the distancing guidelines.

Here are some ways you can enjoy spending time with your friends and family, while also making sure to adhere to social distancing guidelines:

1. Have a BBQ

Who doesn’t love a good BBQ (at a distance)?
Image credit: Sky News

This is something that my friends surprised me with recently for my birthday and is perhaps the most popular way of reuniting friends and family. It’s such an easy thing to host in your back garden, with guests bringing their own choice of food, drinks and cutlery.

If you’re planning on hosting a barbeque while in lockdown, then the government recommend that you do so by following these guidelines:

  • Set out seats two metres apart in advance to people arriving – the government recommend having people sit side by side rather than face to face.
  • Decide on who is coming and consider not inviting those who may be most at risk or pose a potential risk.
  • Ask people to bring their own cutlery or buy paper plates and plastic cutlery to minimise more than one person touching something.
  • Have a one-way system around the barbeque and make sure that only one person is handling the tongs.

2. Have a picnic

Get your picnic blankets ready!
Image credit: Unsplash

Picnics are also proving to be a popular way of bringing friends and family back together. Following the same guidelines as barbeques, everyone should bring their own food and cutlery as well as protection such as hand sanitiser. If your picnic is in a park or a similar space, then be mindful that many other people might have the same idea, and it may be more challenging to distance yourselves during peak times.

3. Do some exercise

Grab your bike and head into the outdoors
Image credit: Unsplash

Provided we stick to the guidelines, any form of exercise can keep us healthy, boost our immune systems and improve our mental health while lockdown restrictions are still in place. Now that exercising in groups of up to six is allowed, exercising may provide a more fun way of catching up with friends or family if this is something that you all enjoy.

The government advises you to plan any running or cycling routes beforehand so that you avoid paths that may be too narrow or are likely to be busy. Alternatively, for long-distance friends, you could video call each other while you all attempt an at-home workout or yoga video.

4. Try playing some sports

Tennis courts are now back open for use
Image credit: Unsplash

While in lockdown, people have had to find more innovative ways of exercising. However, now that restrictions are easing, the government have recommended sports such as tennis or golf that you can play with friends and can still safely keep your distance, provided that no one is touching the same equipment.

5. Have a movie night

Watch your favourite Netflix shows with your friends virtually
Image credit: Unsplash

Being stuck indoors, even the most relaxing stay-at-home activities such as watching TV can get lonely and mundane pretty quickly. If you’re looking to make your series binging more social, then luckily several apps and extensions have been created so that you can still enjoy movie nights with friends.

Here are some that I would recommend:

  • Netflix party – This syncs streams and adds a live chat on the side of the screen.
  • Scener – This is similar to Netflix Party. However, Scener lets you video chat with your friends while you are both watching Netflix.
  • TwoSeven – Allows for group streaming from a multitude of services such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video and Disney +.

If you would rather get together in person, many companies such as TheDriveIn, Cinestock and The Luna Cinema are putting together pop-up cinemas in major cities across the UK. The cinemas have been created with social distancing in mind, and there are measures in place for a no-contact experience. Dates and movie choices are yet to be released but are expected to launch in July.

Written by Sarah Ward

Feature image credit: Vox

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