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Is 2020 cancelling Halloween: Can you go trick-or-treating?

Across Britain trick-or-treating is being largely discouraged. With the 31st of October upcoming many are wondering what is happening with guidelines relating to trick-or-treating.

The City of York Bureau of Health has released a statement announcing that they are “discouraging” trick-or-treating as it is being classed as a “high risk” activity by the Department of Health and the CDC’s Covid-19 guidelines. However trick-or-treating hasn’t been completely cancelled as families can still participate between 6:00pm – 8:00pm on October 31st 2020.

Anne Dawson, Media Production Lecturer at York St John University said: “We will not be doing door-to-door trick or treating. There are a few really innovative alternatives that we will be doing instead, just to feel like we’re still celebrating.

“We will be doing a local neighborhood clue hunt, each team has a different starting point so we don’t cross paths, and collect clues at different locations that have maths problems to solve. In both cases, we will have to do the events on Nov 1 though, because my daughter’s class is isolating due to a Covid case, and she won’t be allowed out until Nov. 1. We will also be buying some Halloween treats and hiding them about the house in an “Easter bunny” type hunt,” she adds.

The BBC reported that Dr Chris Smith, University of Cambridge, said: “If you’re doing something that increases your contacts with other people then you are automatically increasing their risk and your risk.” It is still possible to continue with Halloween safely by social distancing with people outside of your household and standing further away when going door to door and keeping your hands well sanitized.

Dr Smith added: ” There’s the issue of how you give a treat. If everyone’s scrabbling round in a bucket full of sweets and they touch all of them then there’s a risk of transmission.” Due to the concern on Covid-19 being spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus, he recommends giving out individually wrapped sweets instead of unwrapped so there is “less chance” of children touching something and then putting the sweets straight into their mouths.

Is trick-or-treating cancelled 2020?

Guidelines have been released by City of York officials such as not participating if you have tested positive or are showing any symptoms, trying to maintain a “one way” system and waiting at the end of the path, street or driveway if possible. Other precautions or tips include: turning on the porch light to show a household is participating in trick-or-treating, sticking to the rule of six and wearing a mask, if not already part of your costume.

Suggestions have also been made as alternative festive activities to do if you do not wish to participate in door to door trick-or-treating. These activities include: carving/decorating pumpkins wish household members and displaying them, having a virtual Halloween costume contest, having a Halloween movie night with your favorite treats or having a socially distanced themed scavenger hunt with pre-prepared things to look out for.