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Celebrate Halloween safely this year

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With Halloween season fast approaching, families may be wondering whether trick or treating is worth the risk this year. 

It’s really not. Please just stay at home and don’t turn Halloween into a COVID-19 “nightmare on your street”.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Halloween safely at home, from spooky window dressings to ghostly film nights.

This year public health teams in Devon are asking families to forget the usual trick or treat plans and instead celebrate safely indoors.

Steve Brown, Deputy Director of Public Health DevonSteve Brown, Deputy Director for Public Health Devon, said:

“We might have lower than average cases in Devon, but there really is unnecessary risk in celebrating the traditional way with trick or treating.  Our advice, just don’t do it. Not this year.

“That doesn’t mean for a minute don’t have fun.  I plan to.  But do it from the safety of your own home.”

Current restrictions mean that traditional Halloween parties and social events can’t happen anyway this year, so make your own fun from home.

Here are some low risk ideas:

  • Have a pumpkin trail in your street. Have fun with the children either carving or drawing pumpkins and place them in your window.  Neighbouring children can have fun pumpkin spotting. You could give your children prizes for the number of pumpkins they spot.
  • Have a virtual pumpkin carving competition with your friends. Carve your pumpkins at home and share the results via Zoom, Google or Skype.
  • Have fun decorating your house. There are lots of templates and crafting ideas online.
  • Have a Halloween scavenger hunt. Give the children a list of Halloween-themed things to look for on their walk. Spiders or cobwebs for example. You can also do this in your home and hide some treats instead.
  • Have a Halloween movie night at home. Even for very young children there are some family favourites. Bake some Halloween treats to make it a special occasion.

One’s to avoid this year – they’re too high risk:

  • Do not go trick or treating where treats are handed out and children go door to door.
  • Do not leave bowls of sweets outside for children as this could increase the risk of infection.
  • Do not go to crowded costume parties held indoors or any party where there are more than six people.
  • Do not substitute your facemask with a Halloween mask as this will not keep you safe.

However you do it this year, have fun, but stay safe!