As concerns continue about rising Covid-19 infection rates across the county, children and families are being urged to enjoy alternatives to traditional trick or treating on 31 October.
Chief Constable Rachel Swann, who is the Chair of the Derbyshire Local Resilience Forum, which brings together councils, 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.
“A huge effort is being made in communities and I would like to thank everyone for this. However, there is still more that could be done and we need to remain pro-active and not let these efforts slip as we enter this season of celebrations.
“Traditionally at Halloween children and families visit households and meet with friends and in a large part of our county this is not possible at the moment. We are not saying not to celebrate but look at ways of celebrating differently.
“The rules that keep us safe from Covid-19 every day apply just as strongly on Halloween. Follow your local alert level guidelines, and remember that school bubbles do not apply outside of school. 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 on 31 October, they must follow these safety measures.
However, to reduce the risk to children and others and to combat the rise in infections, we are recommending that people do not go knocking on doors or collect sweets from communal bowls.
There are many alternatives to this that mean the frightful season can still be enjoyed:
- 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.
“We’re all striving to keep the county out of tighter lockdown measures, and the way we celebrate Halloween – and how we mark forthcoming events like Bonfire Night and Remembrance Sunday – will have an impact on this.”