Post Pandemic Phase: 7 ways to prepare for a healthy and safe gathering

Updated on Mar 29, 2020 01:17 PM IST  |  1M
Weddings,weddings,Post Pandemic,safe gathering
Post Pandemic Phase: 7 ways to prepare for a healthy and safe gathering

Indian summers, starting April to May are peak wedding seasons in India. However, in uncertain times like these when the world is faced with a pandemic like COVID-19, it is paramount to place one’s own health and safety as a top priority, as well as of the larger community. As advised by WHO, practicing social distancing is essential to curb a pandemic that’s affecting thousands of people across countries. In light of such a health crisis, it is advisable for most events, especially mass gatherings like wedding ceremonies to be postponed for a safer date.

With responsible citizens practicing social distancing and individuals with symptoms diligently spending time under self-quarantine, there’s hope that India will successfully break the spreading of the novel coronavirus. Nonetheless, in the wake of coronavirus, while mass gatherings and work routines will return to normal, including wedding celebrations, the society needs to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure the society’s well being. To spread awareness and ensure that hospitality companies, as well as guests, take precautionary measures in the post-pandemic phase, OYO’s, India’s largest wedding company has shared tips for a safe public gathering, especially at weddings, functions, work events or celebrations of any kind. 

1. Ensure availability of alcohol-based handwashes, sanitizers, paper napkins at the venue

Since COVID-19 is a contagious/infectious virus that easily spreads through contact, venues should ensure the availability of good quality hand wash, sanitizers and paper napkins. Besides this, venues should also maintain hourly hygiene checks to avoid stained and wet surfaces in areas like the washroom, kitchen, tables, bar, food counters, etc. Places of worship, which are frequented by huge crowds should also maintain such preventive measures by placing hand sanitizers at the entrance of the building as well as near the alter/the temple, where individuals usually tend to pay their respects by touching the surface of such structures.

If you are a guest, it is advisable to carry your own sanitizer and ensure you are regularly using it and avoid touching your face as a preventive measure.

2. Issue a health advisory to the kitchen and frontline hospitality staff to wear masks and gloves

The hospitality staff interacts with many guests, therefore, it is essential for the kitchen staff and servers to wear masks for their own well-being as well as for those around them. More importantly, if a staff-member feels under the weather, it is best to completely avoid working at the ceremony. The same applies to guests. 

3. Shorten the guestlist & avoid international attendees

At weddings, it is natural to have relatives and guests come in from all parts of the country and the world. However, during times like these, couples and their families should shorten their guestlist and limit the crowd present at ceremonies. Considering its a global health and safety issue, it is advisable to skip extending invites to international guests since its best suited to avoid air travel. In any case, have a medical team on standby present at the venue. 

4. Avoid shaking hands with people

As a part of limiting contact with people at a wedding or celebration, avoid greeting people with a handshake. Instead, opt for a Namaskar to limit the number of people you come in direct contact with.  However, if you shake hands with someone or hug a person, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap or a hand sanitizer.

5. Ensure elderly guests are at a minimum count

Being among the most vulnerable age groups, it is advisable to avoid the function altogether. In case that might not be possible, and in such a situation, it is recommended to allot table/seating arrangement in a specific area away from the spaces that tend to get crowded, like the stage, dance floor, food counter and the bar. 

6. Embrace digital alternatives

Reconsider the tradition of extending personal invites by visiting guests’ homes. Instead, opt for digital invites and wedding websites to limit physical contact and avoid travelling/commuting on a larger front.

7. Last but not the least, reconsider the photoshoot with your guests at your wedding ceremony

At Indian weddings, as we know, couples are obliged to meet and click photographs with their guests either during the reception or towards the end of the ceremony. This aspect of any Indian wedding can put many at the risk of catching an infection, especially the bride and the groom, therefore, it should be completely avoided. Congratulating one another and exchanging gifts should be skipped at functions, even if the pandemic dies down to a great extent. With more and more people becoming cautious about their health and hygiene, even after the pandemic, it is recommended that couples opt for digital alternatives like gift registries, allowing complete digitization of wedding gifting and exchanges. 

By Sandeep Lodha, CEO, OYO


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