Internet split over UK woman's request for party guests not to use toilet during COVID-19 pandemic

garden party but no use of toilet
The host invited friends over for a garden party, but said a separate downstairs loo was off-limits. Photo credit: Getty.

Many parts of the world are slowly beginning to come out of a COVID-19 lockdown, but the social etiquette of group gatherings during these germ-phobic times is triggering firey discussion. 

It's been raised again in a post on UK site Mumsnet, after a woman reportedly invited friends around for a "garden lunch", but stipulated they weren't allowed inside the house at all - even to use the toilet. 

One of the potential guests posted on the parenting forum asking if it was an unreasonable request, especially after being asked to take "a bottle of Prosecco and a contribution to the lunch".  

"She has said that she is not allowing people in her home at all, even to use a separate downstairs loo. Now that is, of course, her right, but then why invite people over to lunch?" the invitee questioned, adding that personally she needs the loo "every hour/ hour and a half or so". 

"This means I will have to drive to her lunch (I'd usually walk but it will take me an hour there and back with no public toilets on the route) and not drink any of the Prosecco I take, and I won't be able to stay very long."

The guest says she suggested each person take their won packs of antiseptic wipes to clean down surfaces after use "but [the host] isn't comfortable with that". 

"I've offered to host at my house but she wants it at hers - I'm guessing so she can use the toilet and not have to drive."

The Mumsnet poster says she didn't want to "seem like a bitch" but she felt uncomfortable over the invite. 

Replies to the question were split, but most people thought it was an unreasonable request - especially after guests were asked to contribute to the lunch. 

"If she isn’t allowing others to use the loo she shouldn’t invite people over. I do get her anxiety but for me no toilet, no lunch!" one person replied. 

"If she’s not happy with you peeing on her lawn I wouldn’t visit," another wrote. 

But others thought that it was fair enough, as coronavirus still sweeps many parts of the globe. 

"I'm part of a group of friends doing garden visits without loo access. We just go before we go," one person pointed out. 

"If you drive you could go for an hour? I think it would be fine to say you'd like to see them but will need the loo so won't stay too long," another wrote.