As concerns continue about rising Covid-19 infection rates across York and North Yorkshire, children and families are being urged to enjoy alternatives to traditional trick or treating this Saturday 31 October.
It comes as Boris Johnson met his most senior cabinet colleagues on Friday to discuss the possible toughening of restrictions and talk of a second full lockdown.
Richard Flinton, Chair of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum (NYLRF), which brings together councils including City of York, emergency services and health organisations to tackle the pandemic, said:
“We are keen to get the balance right between protecting people from the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that they can still enjoy themselves.”
However, to reduce the risk to children and others and to combat the rise in infections, NYLRF is recommending that people do not go knocking on doors on Hallowe’en or collect sweets from communal bowls.
“I thank everyone for the huge efforts being made across the county as we all work to stem the rise in cases of Covid-19. It’s vital that we do not let these efforts slip as we enter this season of celebrations.” Mr Flinton added.
Celebrate safely is the advice:
Stick to the rule of six outdoors and remember that school bubbles do not apply outside school.
(Remember that the City of York is on Tier 2 and currently the rest of North Yorkshire is Tier 1 so no indoor mixing in the York council area)
Maintain social distancing, wear a face covering in any busy place, inside or out, and wash your hands regularly.
Remember to take hand sanitiser if you go out.”
If people decide to go out this Saturday 31 October, they must follow those safety measures sasy NYLRF.
There are many alternatives you can still enjoy says NYLRF
- Be creative: create a pumpkin trail where you live so everyone can join in without knocking on doors.
- Be active: get dressed up and take a walk around your neighbourhood to see homes decorated for Halloween.
- Be virtual: consider an online party with decorations, fancy dress and themed food. Play Hallowe’en games, bake Hallowe’en treats or tell spooky stories.
- Be social: take pictures of your spooky costumes and activities to share on social media.
- Be colourful: dress up the outside of your house with Halloween decorations for you and your neighbours to enjoy.
- Be treat-wise: buy your own sweets to give to your children so they don’t miss out.
- Be bright: if you carve a pumpkin, use a battery-powered light inside it to reduce the risk of fire.