23/10/2020 - Permalink

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Related topics: Coronavirus / Health / Leisure, culture and heritage / Public protection
Image showing two pumpkins and telling people to stay safe this halloween

Why not craft a pumpkin to put on show?

With Halloween just around the corner, Shropshire Council is urging people to celebrate Halloween safely this year and help save lives by preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Families and individuals looking to celebrate Halloween are being encouraged to take part in fun alternative ways to celebrate the occasion.

Low-risk activities include:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household to put on show. From Saturday 24 October 2020 shoppers with youngsters will be able to pick up a free pumpkin at Shrewsbury’s Darwin Shopping Centre in time for Halloween.
  • Having a scary movie night with those you live with. Even for very young children there are some family favourites. Bake some Halloween treats to make it a special occasion.
  • Decorating your home and or giving your door step a spooky makeover.
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest or playing a virtual Halloween game.
  • Scavenger hunt-style Trick or Treat search with your household members in or around your home.

    Stay in for a spooky movie night

    Stay in for a spooky movie night

Tips to ensure you avoid buying unsafe costumes include:

  • Look for the CE mark on the label.
  • Read all the safety information.
  • Only buy from a trusted store or website.
  • Look for ratings or reviews from other customers.
  • Check it hasn’t been recalled – visit productrecall.campaign.gov.uk.
  • Speak up if you find an issue – report concerns direct to the seller and also Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.

With COVID-19 case rates increasing rapidly across the county, the council is encouraging people to look at alternative activities, rather than going out trick or treating which can increase the risk of spreading the virus.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:-

“We really want people to enjoy Halloween this year. However, events like ‘Trick or Treat’ could cause transmission of coronavirus at a time when cases are already on the rise across the county.

“Bottom line is, if you’re doing something that increases your contacts with other people, then you are automatically increasing your own risk and their risk.

“Therefore, we are strongly urging people not to go out trick or treating, and to limit contact with people outside of their household bubble.

“We don’t want to be seen as party poopers! There are some brilliant alternative Halloween ideas out there, from having virtual Zoom Halloween parties – so people can still see their friends, to making ghoulish Halloween treats for all the family to enjoy.

“We just want you to have a great but safe time.”

Those still intent on going Trick or Treating are strongly advised to take precautions and follow all Government guidelines to stop the spread of infection, as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

Enjoy Halloween safely this year

Enjoy Halloween safely this year

If still planning to celebrate do:

  • Keep to the Rule of Six, with no more than six people gathering together – either indoors or outdoors, and avoid household mixing. Children should be supervised by an adult.
  • Follow social distancing (2 metres apart where possible) when meeting.
  • Wearing a face covering, at all times: why not try a Halloween theme one?
Cover your face

Cover your face

High risk activities. Please avoid these to prevent the spread of COVID-19!

  • 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.

Further information

Step Up and help us stop the spread of coronavirus:

  • Work from home if you can.
  • Limit contact with other people.
  • Keep your distance from people not in your household bubble (2 metres apart where possible).
  • Stick to a maximum group of 6 people when meeting socially – indoors or outdoors.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
  • Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will meet people you do not normally meet.
  • Anyone who has any symptoms should book a test and not leave home for at least 10 days. Those living in households should self-isolate for 14 days if they or any members of the household receive a positive test.
  • You can book a test by calling 119 or click here

Download ‘Step Up Shropshire’ posters here.

For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit our website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.