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Everything You Should Know About Event Catering During the COVID-19 Pandemic

After the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic, social events and festivals were postponed and even canceled as per the directives of the top health organizations and government institutions in different countries. Anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and weddings are some life events that have been affected by the current global situation. This has had a great impact on the catering industry and how they will be conducting events as countries slowly reopen their economy in phases amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This article looks at everything you need to know about event catering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Event Preparations and Expectations

Catering companies should have an emergency plan for large catered events to protect the health of their staff, guests, and the general local community.

a woman with a mask on getting drinks for customers

Some of the actions they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 include encouraging staff and attendees to remain at home if they are feeling sick. If possible, the attendees and staff should be provided with disposable items and other supplies that help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. When planning for your catered event, it is important to consult with local public health officials and develop flexible refund policies for attendees if there is a change of plans.

  • The Number of Guests Who Can Attend the Event

Since different events have different settings, the CDC does not have a limit to the number of employees who can attend a catered event. However, it strongly recommends event organizers to come up with creative ways to minimize personal contact. As a result, you may be required to consult with your local health officials to determine the appropriate number of people who can attend your event setting. Indoor catered events may be riskier than outdoor catered events as it is difficult to keep people 6 feet apart from each other at all times. This makes outdoor spaces ideal for holding events, as they are more scalable.

  • Preventive Measures For COVID-19 During Catered Events

It is important to avoid close contact with other people during the event, as it can be difficult to tell who is already sick from the virus. If you are feeling sick, you are advised to stay at home and monitor your symptoms. You should also wash your hands more often with soap and water. The catering staff needs to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. You can use a cloth face covering when it is difficult to maintain a distance of 6 feet. If you feel a strong urge to sneeze or cough, use a tissue paper or cover your nose with the inside of your elbow.

  • Testing and Health Checks

Testing attendees and catering staff before they are allowed to enter the event is not recommended, as it has not been systematically studied. However, the CDC recommends temperature screening as an effective way of conducting health checks before guests are allowed to enter the event. Event organizers can safely and respectfully do symptom health checks of staff and attendees according to applicable privacy laws and regulations in your region. It is also important to practice preventive measures such as social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, frequent hand washing, and wearing cloth face coverings.

  • Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at an Event

If an attendee or a catering staff member becomes sick, he or she needs to be separated from other people as soon as possible. They can be given disposable masks and allowed to go home but emergency services can be contacted for those in need of emergency care. It is important to avoid taxis, shared rides, and any form of public transportation with sick persons. Also, consult with local public health officials on how to communicate with attendees and staff about the issue to reduce panic.

  • Determining Factors for an Event to be Canceled or Postponed

The decision to cancel, postpone, or reduce the number of attendees at an event will be based on a continual assessment of the current conditions and consultations with local public health officials. A catered event can be postponed or canceled if the number of attendees will make it difficult to implement necessary COVID-19 measures. Other factors to consider include the number of guests at high-risk groups or those who have underlying health problems. If the local community where you intend to hold the event is largely affected, then it may be wise to cancel or postpone the event.

The catering staff needs to follow good hygiene practices when preparing or handling foods at a catered event. Everyone needs to comply with the restrictive measures put in place by local authorities and top health organizations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during an event. Not only will this help flatten the curve but it will also quicken the progress of returning to normality and economic stability.

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