Written by: Karissa Ketter, News Writer
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has released safety guidelines for a low-risk and fun Halloween this year. To prevent the risk of further COVID-19 outbreaks in the community, they recommend that no indoor Halloween parties — big or small — should take place. However, the BCCDC notes that trick-or-treating can be a safe activity for kids in small groups of no more than six people.
As the BCCDC states, regardless of Halloween plans, those with any symptoms should stay home and keep the lights off to avoid having trick-or-treaters approach your residency.
Trick-or-treating this year should take place in small groups of kids who consider incorporating non-medical face masks into their costumes. The BCCDC notes that it isn’t necessary to sanitize every treat, rather kids should sanitize or wash their hands after touching candy and not touching their face. Additionally, small groups should be distancing themselves from other groups.
Households handing out candy to children should consider using tongs or making a candy slide starting from the door to give extra space between themselves and kids. The BCCDC says that only sealed, pre-packaged treats should be distributed this year and sanitizing both your hands and the door should be done regularly throughout the evening, in addition to wearing a mask. They also recommend that people handing out candy stay outside to limit the amount of children touching and approaching their doors at once.
The BCCDC notes that all indoor trick-or-treating, such as in the mall or community centres, is discouraged.
It is recommended that all parties or gatherings are limited to six people and take place outside. Parties held on heated patios or fires are best as fresh air and social distancing lowers the risk of COVID-19 transmission. They also note that providing individual servings of food is optimal to avoid buffet-style food sharing. Additionally, the BCCDC states that no drinks, smokes, tokes, and vapes should be shared with others.
For those that want to go out on Halloween, the BC Government’s Gatherings and Events Order states that restaurants and businesses can remain open as long as they follow safety guidelines. Events must be limited to no more than 50 people and social distancing of two meters from others in the establishment is mandatory. Patrons of events must be recorded and monitored for contact tracing. Establishments must supply hand sanitizer for patrons and indicate with floor markers two meters of social distancing. Additionally, tables in restaurants must not be occupied with more than six people at a time, liquor may not be served after 10:00 p.m, and no dance floors, karaoke, and dancing or singing is allowed in public spaces.