Don't go out trick or treating on Halloween, council advises

October 30 2020
Don't go out trick or treating on Halloween, council advises

BRISTOLIANS are being “strongly advised” not to go trick or treating this Halloween in a bid to protect residents from coronavirus.

The advice from Bristol mayor Marvin Rees is being backed by police who are warning anyone caught breaking the rule of six and other Tier 1 rules could be fined.

The official Halloween warning comes a day after Bristol City Council announced it was stepping up its fight against Covid-19 by introducing “targeted actions” to supplement Tier 1 restrictions, amounting to a self-imposed “Tier 1 plus” approach.

The actions based on detailed analysis of local data include the introduction of eight Covid marshals to encourage people and organisations to follow the rules.

The controversial departure from the national three-tier approach is an attempt to halt the “rising tide” of infections among working age adults across the city and prevent Bristol being put into Tier 2 by the Government.

Tier 2 would mean no household mixing indoors, and obeying the rule of six outdoors.

For now, Bristol is under Tier 1 restrictions and the council wants to keep it that way, so is asking residents to have Halloween at home this year.

It has suggested a variety of fun alternatives to trick-or-treating, and has launched a competition for the best Halloween window display.

It is also encouraging households to put signs on their windows or doors to make visitors aware they are not participating in trick or treating this year to help keep Bristol safe. 

Mr Rees said: “We all need to work together to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and prevent the city from having tighter restrictions like other areas of the country. 

Therefore it is strongly advised that you celebrate Halloween at home remembering how the virus spreads from person to person, either through direct contact, or transmission on items.

Staying in and avoiding trick or treating could prevent the spread of the virus and keep you, your friends, families and neighbours safe.” 

Superintendent Andy Bennett, Bristol Area Commander for Avon and Somerset Police, said it was vital people keep following the rule of six both inside and outside their home, and stay two metres apart from others they don’t live with. 

He said: “We want people to be able to have fun this Halloween, but we want to ensure that any celebrations are safe and follow the current guidelines. 

Some residents, including the elderly, vulnerable and those who are self-isolating, may be feeling particularly anxious at the moment so if you do choose to go out, please remember to respect other people and follow the important rules: no groups bigger than six outside of your household, wear a mask, keep two metres apart and wash your hands regularly. 

If people cooperate and follow the rules, it will be a treat for everyone. 

However, if people choose to be tricky and ignore the advice which puts others at risk, they may end up with a fine.” 

Ideas for Halloween at home 

The council has suggested these alternatives for a safe Halloween: 

  • Get creative with your window display, wow your neighbours and enter the council’s Halloween Home Window Display Competition 

  • Carve a pumpkin, or a turnip, or make a whole family of decorated fruit and veg 

  • Set up a spooky scavenger hunt around the house 

  • Create a ‘Great Beastly Bake Off’ posting your bakes online 

  • Have a scary movie marathon with lots of scary snacks 

  • Host a fancy dress Halloween themed virtual party or quiz.

Halloween window display competition 

The winner of the council’s Halloween Home Window Display Competition will get four tickets and a café voucher for Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the M Shed. 

To enter, simply send a photo of your Halloween home window displays to wearebristol@bristol.gov.uk with the subject line ‘Halloween Window Competition’. 

Winners will be judged on “originality, creativity, effort and spook-factor”, according to the council. 

The competition closes at midnight on Saturday, November 7.

By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporting Service