09 October 2020
Islanders are being advised against taking children trick or treating this Halloween due to risks associated with the Coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout October, the Government will be sharing ideas on social media for anyone intending to mark Halloween this year. These alternative ideas include, carving or decorating pumpkins as a household indoors or, outside at a safe distance with neighbours and friends, planning a themed scavenger hunt outside, at a distance with friends.
Public Health are advising Islanders that door to door visits are not recommended as it could become difficult to maintain 1m physical distancing and the handing out of sweets and touching of doorbells poses a risk of spreading the virus through hand to surface contact.
Islanders planning parties this year are being reminded of the restrictions in place regarding social gatherings being limited to under 20 people where public health guidance on physical distancing and hygiene can be adhered to. Any indoor gathering is considered high risk for transmission due to the possibility of limited ventilation and reduced physical distancing.
The Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat said: “Although it is not thought that children are the main drivers of COVID, they can still spread the virus and face to face exposure with strangers, while trick or treating, poses more of a risk of spread to Islanders. Children may also be suffering from other viral infections which cause sneezing and coughing, adding to the risk of Coronavirus and flu transmission.
“The practice of trick or treating could increase exposure to high risk individuals as they may feel pressured to answer their doors to lots of people which may also add to already heightened anxiety levels.”