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Holiday party etiquette during COVID-19

By: Natasha Archary

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

With the country expected to head into a second wave of COVID-19 cases, and President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to tighten restrictions, we need to brace ourselves for a safer holiday season. We understand, it’s a time of the year that calls for celebrations with friends and family but let’s be responsible and protect each other.

We’d hate to get back to a hard lockdown, having just settled into our “new normal” way of life and reintegrating back into society. We’ve just begun to have nights out again, albeit with a curfew, but it’s a privilege we’re not ready to lose again. So if you’re hosting or attending a holiday party, dinner, lunch or family gathering this holiday season, practice the following etiquette to keep yourself and your guests safe.


Mask up

Most venues allow patrons to remove masks once they are seated at their tables. But if you’re at a bar with a dance floor, the rule is that your masks stay on. While the venue will regulate the number of people in attendance, social distancing alone in such a social setting isn’t enough.

If you’re hosting a family gathering or party at home, ensure that all guests have a mask on before entering, or provide one for guests who show up sans mask. It doesn’t matter how well you know the person, it’s a rule you should be strict about enforcing.


Respect the RSVP

It’s a numbers game at the moment, and we need to be within the COVID-19 regulations of 250 people or less if it’s an indoor gathering or 500 or less for outdoors. Whether or not your gathering will hit these numbers, it’s important to have guests RSVP. This rules out any unexpected additions and makes budgeting for food and drinks easier on the host.

If you’re the guest, remember it’s rude to extend the invite to someone else if you’ve not been given the option of a plus one.

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels
A gift for the host

Unless it’s an office party, take your host a little keepsake or something that could be enjoyed by everyone at the table. A light snack, bottle of wine, dessert, chocolates, something. The point is to not show up empty handed.


Food, drinks and servings

At a time where people are paranoid about sanitising everything, ensure your guests feel comfortable with the layout of the food, drinks, utensils and dinnerware. Keep a bottle of sanitiser and wipes close by, so guests can sterilise communal cutlery or serving utensils. Make sure food stays covered when not being served and that anyone handling the food has gloves and masks on.

Glasses should be taken away after each drink and not left unattended. You can mistakenly pick up a glass that’s not yours, so glass in hand at all times.


Know your limits

The last thing any host wants is to deal with a guest who has knocked back a few too many G&Ts and is creating a scene. It’s disrespectful and you look the fool. Don’t expect an invite back to the next holiday party, if you cannot handle your alcohol or know your limits. Remember, no drinking and driving and the new curfew is 11pm.

Read: Go from socially awkward to the life of the party

Written by: Kayafm Digital


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POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


  • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
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1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

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1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

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2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

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