Hosting during a pandemic: 30% of Americans will take guests’ temperature before allowing them in

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New survey shows the holiday season will be quite different this year, with four in ten people hosting ‘virtual’ Thanksgiving dinners instead of in-person meals.


NEW YORK — Everything is more complicated nowadays, and that includes hosting a party or holiday get together. A new survey of 2,000 Americans finds parties are going to be very different this holiday season. Thirty percent of respondents plan on setting up a mandatory “temperature check” at their front door for all guests.

The last few months of the year are usually about getting together with family and friends, giving thanks, celebrating the year that was, and looking ahead toward the future. It’s safe to say we’re all ready to bid adieu to 2020, but in the meantime it’s clear that many Americans have their work cut out for them this holiday season.

Big headaches for hosts this year

In all, 70 percent say that hosts this year are under much more pressure to keep everyone safe during parties. Over half of those surveyed (54%) say they plan on enforcing strict social distancing rules the next time they host a shindig. Many others (46%) are putting together comprehensive lists of their party guests; so it will be easier to contact trace in the event someone tests positive for COVID-19.

Other new party rules include only having one person serve food and drinks (37%), mandatory RSVPs (24%), and even holding the entire party outside (27%).

The survey, commissioned by VCF Designer Looks, also reveals six in 10 Americans plan on wearing many hats the next time they hold a party. Besides just being the host, these individuals will also serve as chef, server, and bartender. This way, there’s less chance of infection.

Of course, many other Americans have decided to forgo an in-person party altogether. Four in 10 respondents say they’re planning on a virtual Thanksgiving dinner this year. This sentiment was especially common regarding older family members. Forty percent would rather just celebrate with their older relatives via video chat to ensure their safety. Another 37 percent have the same sentiment regarding extended family.

Holiday planning starting early

That being said, 64 percent of respondents are still planning an in-person Thanksgiving dinner, albeit with a much smaller guest list than usual. On average, Americans are comfortable hosting just four of their immediate family members this year.

Close to half (47%) have already started making plans for their holiday parties. Another 58 percent have used the past few months of quarantine to start planning how they’ll update their home for the holidays this year.

However, many haven’t actually gotten around to making those changes. Why is that the case? The top answer to that question was concerns over the cost (51%), followed by feeling overwhelmed by all of the work such a project would demand (50%). Other reasons include not knowing what style to go with (40%), not having enough time (28%), and delays due to COVID-19 (18%).

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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