10 alternative ways to socialise during COVID-19

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It is completely understandable that many people are choosing not to venture into a pub or visit a friend’s house after the easing of social restrictions. There have been many recent reports recently of scores of people attending house parties indoors or gathering closely in large groups outdoors. And adding alcohol to the mix makes it more difficult to consistently follow public health guidance. With social distancing sometimes being left literally at the door, finding other ways to meet up with family and friends is becoming more and more appealing.

The latest Government advice is that we are now able to travel anywhere in Ireland and social visits to people’s homes should be limited to a maximum of 10 visitors from no more than 4 other households. Extra measures are in place in Kildare, Offaly and Laois where no more than 6 people from a maximum of 3 different households can gather indoors. This limit is to allow for physical distancing of 2 meters and for adequate ventilation if they are taking place indoors. By staying apart, we are going to get to where we need much faster.

Here are some fun things to do, which don’t include house parties or trips to pubs:

  1. Have a picnic: We have so many beautiful parks, forests and open green spaces to choose from in every corner of the country where social distancing can be practiced with ease. So, pack a lunch and get exploring!
  2. Enjoy a trip to the seaside: Take a dip in the sea if you’re brave enough. Don’t forget to have a fish and chips to warm up afterwards, yum!
  3. Climb a mountain or hill walk: Go on a trek with a small group of friends, enjoy the space and breathe in the freshest air. And of course, take some photos from the top. Instagram has never looked so good!
  4. Visit a museum: So we can’t go abroad this year, that’s okay - history starts at home. Ireland’s museums and cultural institutions are back open and ready to share stories from years gone by. Learn some new facts about our long and lively history. Don’t forget your mask!
  5. Take a cycle around a park or countryside area.
  6. Have a movie night at home: Get all of your goodies in, put on some fresh pjs and dig out your favourite DVDs.
  7. Host a games night: Had enough of Zoom quizzes? Dust off the classics - Monopoly, Cluedo, Guess Who? are really fun and a nice trip down memory lane.
  8. Dine outdoors: Invite a few friends over for an al fresco dinner in your garden. You could even make it into a ‘come dine with me’ competition to add more fun to it.
  9. Book dinner in your favourite restaurant: Just because you have to spend less time doesn’t mean you won’t have a fabulous time. Plus, there’s the bonus of not having to cook for a night!
  10. Get active: Have exercise sessions with friends in your garden or local park. There are so many online workouts to choose from these days and exercise out in the fresh air feels great.

It is a hard time for everyone, but we will get there by following the guidelines and practicing social distancing. Hold firm!

Visit hse.ie for COVID-19 guidance