Council leaders across Hertfordshire are encouraging people to celebrate Halloween safely, helping to save lives by preventing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This year, many Halloween traditions, such as trick or treating, carry a risk and the county’s message is clear: this Halloween, stick to a safer way of having fun.
Top five low-risk activities:
- Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them in your window, or outside. This year, why not carve a rainbow in your pumpkin?
- Taking part in a local "spot the pumpkin" trail throughout half term week, where people display pumpkin or Halloween pictures in their windows and you have to try and find them all with your family
- Organising a Halloween scavenger hunt, where children from your household are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for either in your home or outdoors
- Having a virtual Halloween costume competition using Zoom or Skype
- Having a Halloween film night with your household.
Three higher-risk activities to avoid this Halloween:
- Participating in traditional trick or treating, where treats are handed to children who go door to door
- Attending crowded fancy dress parties or any party where there are more than six people
- Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you have been told to self-isolate, you should not participate in any in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out sweets to trick or treaters.
Jim McManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “While Halloween is a great time of year for dressing up and having fun, this year we urge families to take part in lower risk activities, such as pumpkin carving or displaying spooky pictures, helping to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus to others. We don’t want to be in a position where we have to introduce tougher measures and local lockdowns in Hertfordshire, but we need your help to avoid this.”
Cllr Andrew Williams, Leader of Dacorum Borough Council, said: “Whilst Halloween is great fun, we must all do our bit to help suppress this virus and that means celebrating responsibly with our families, enjoying safer alternative activities. There are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween that don’t entail mixing with other households. It’s an opportunity to get creative and maybe even make new family traditions.”
Cllr Linda Haysey, Leader of East Herts Council, and Chair of the Community Reassurance Cell of the Hertfordshire Local Resilience Forum, said: “Thank you to everyone in Hertfordshire for your efforts in helping to control the spread of the virus. We all want our lives to get back to normal, but now is not the time to be complacent. Please continue to play your part this Halloween - wash your hands, cover your face and make space.”