Can I Drink Wine Outside While Periodically Lifting My Mask?

Here’s what the experts say

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

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As stay-at-home orders relax and some businesses like restaurants begin to open, it’s helpful to know when and where the mask can come off.

“My question is: With whom are you sharing the bottle?” says William Schaffner, MD, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “Are you giving a party for 25 people — in which case, you should not be doing that. If you’re out with your significant other or your spouse or your first date, and you’re confident that those people have been sheltering in place, then sure [you can lift the mask].”

Schaffner says that even if you’re in a restaurant, as long as people are distanced and the staff is in masks, it should be okay to dine without one. “Enjoy your meal and glass of wine,” he says.

“That’s consistent with being careful,” Schaffner adds. “What we don’t want to do is spend prolonged time indoors, face-to-face with a whole lot of people. We’re going to step into this new normal kind of gradually and see how it works.”

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Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that