An Etiquette Guide As Social Distancing Rules Loosen

As social distancing rules gradually loosen, some are wondering what that means when it comes to etiquette. While some are eager to get back to their normal lives, others feel more cautious. Wherever you land on the comfort spectrum, it’s important to remain respectful of others. From keeping distance in the grocery store to respectfully declining an invitation, there are tactful ways to establish boundaries without offending. Read on for etiquette tips as social distancing rules begin to lift.

Offer An Elbow Bump

If someone offers a handshake, there’s nothing wrong with meeting their hand with an elbow bump instead. You can even offer a soft chuckle to lighten the mood and show that you aren’t trying to offend.

Niccolo Guasti/Getty Images
Niccolo Guasti/Getty Images

Another option is to place your palms together and bow to indicate that you reciprocate the gesture. On the flip side, if you’re comfortable with shaking hands but aren’t sure someone else is, you can offer an elbow or fist bump, or bow to them in respect.