Normally families who mark Halloween would do so by going out trick and treating in their local neighbourhood, but with Covid-19 cases in Wolverhampton increasing and new High Alert (Tier 2) measures in place limiting household contact, people are being encouraged to stay safe and start a new tradition this year.
Coronavirus can live on surfaces for hours, even days, and so families are asked not to ring doorbells or knock on other people’s doors. They also shouldn’t leave bowls of treats outside their houses – because even though this would help with social distancing and reduce contact with others, different hands in bowls could still spread the virus.
Instead, people are encouraged to decorate their houses in a spooky fashion and create and display pumpkins and Halloween themed pictures and drawings in their windows which ‘trick or treaters’ can spot from the safety of the pavement.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “We want people to enjoy Halloween as much as they can this year. Sadly, traditional trick or treating is simply not going to be possible with the measures currently in place which prevent households from mixing with one another.
“So instead, why not get your children to dress up and go out as a family pumpkin spotting in your local neighbourhood, and reward them with a treat when they find what they are looking for?
“Alternatively, you could stay home and enjoy a spooky party with your family, watch a scary movie with a Halloween feast, hold a virtual party over video calling or bake Halloween treats – there are plenty of ways that you can still enjoy this special day without putting yourself or others at risk of Covid-19.”
Dr Salma Reehana, Chair of the Governing Body, Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We don’t want to stop families enjoying Halloween this year, but we would ask that children do not take part in traditional trick and treating and instead get creative by placing Halloween pictures in their windows or going out and hunting for Halloween displays around their neighbourhood instead.
“If you do this, please remember to follow social distancing and the rule of six guidelines. By doing this we can all help stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our loved ones safe.”
Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. People with symptoms should immediately self isolate and book a test by visiting Coronavirus (COVID-19) or calling 119. People can now get tests up to 8 days after first developing symptoms.
Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will be asked to share information about people that have been close contacts recently.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. For full details of the local Covid-19 High Alert (tier 2) restrictions currently in place, please visit COVID Alert.