Ghosts, ghouls and scary skeletons will be out in force this weekend as Halloween festivities kick off, but this year's trick or treating will look a bit different with COVID-19 lurking in the shadows.
Dr David Durrheim, Public Health Controller of HNE Health COVID-19 response, encourages trick or treaters to stay safe as Halloween creeps closer and follow the below advice.
Dr Durrheim encourages trick or treaters to follow the advice below.
- Greet guests at your front yard, not the front door.
- Give out treats in closed packages.
- Try distributing the treats rather than using a communal lolly bowl.
- Have hand sanitiser with you.
- Trick or treat in household groups.
- Keep a 1.5 metre distance between different households.
- Keep it local.
- Don't share costume face masks.
"Halloween celebrations will need to be a little different this year due to COVID-19 and we are urging everyone in the community to play their part," Dr Durrheim said.
Dr Durrheim advises that Halloween should be a front yard event, not a front door event and treats should be individually wrapped.
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"Provide closed packaging for treats and instead of communal lolly bowls, consider other ways of distributing such as having them strewn along the fence, and have hand sanitiser at the front gate.
"Trick or treat on a household basis, such as a supervising adult and children from the same household rather than groups of young people together.
"Maintain a 1.5 metre distance between people of different households and don't all crowd together in a pack."
Dr Durrheim said to keep it local and avoid well known "treat streets" that attract large crowds.
"Don't share costume face masks and ensure you follow mask rules," he said.
"Stay home if you are feeling unwell, people isolating should not have Halloween visitors.
"Practice good hand hygiene and use hand sanitiser after touching common surfaces."
If all members of a household aged 16 years or over are fully vaccinated, they can have up to 20 fully vaccinated visitors to their place of residence.
Halloween will be on Sunday, October 31.
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