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Post: Havering Council and police ask residents to celebrate Halloween differently this year.

Havering Council and police ask residents to celebrate Halloween differently this year.

Havering Council and Metropolitan Police are urging residents not to go trick or treating this year, instead opting for safer ways to celebrate.

Halloween, like many other events, will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current restrictions in place.

Havering’s local COVID alert level was moved from medium to high on 17 October following an increase in coronavirus cases.

Households can no longer meet with other households indoors, and cannot meet in groups of over six outdoors.

Traditional Halloween activities like trick or treating or parties risk breaking these restrictions and further spreading the virus.

Havering Council will be hosting a range of virtual events throughout the day on their Facebook and YouTube channels.

Activities include Halloween and pumpkin decorating, face painting tutorials, a Jam Dance Company performance of Thriller and a spooktacular dance & sing-along from Rainham-based Lightnin’ Drama.

The Council is also encouraging other ways to scare safely this Halloween:

  • Have a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
  • Decorate your home.
  • Have a trick or treat hunt with people you live with.
  • Carve and decorate pumpkins to display in your windows.
  • Host a virtual Halloween costume or pumpkin carving contest.
  • Bake some Halloween treats.

Councilor Viddy Persaud, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety said:

“Halloween is a major event in Havering and we know many families are used to going out trick or treating, but the health and wellbeing of our residents is our main concern – we must do everything we can do slow the spread of this virus.

“Please remember not to meet anyone indoors that you don’t live with or is not part of your extended household. This applies to both your home and in places like pubs and restaurants.

“When celebrating this year, please look for different ways to enjoy the day. We all need to continue to do our bit to keep our friends, family and community safe.”

Dr Mark Ansell, Havering’s Director of Public Health, added:

“Residents continue to do an excellent job of doing their bit and keeping sticking to the restrictions. This has involved hard work, sacrifice and collective effort that we should all be immensely proud of, but we cannot let that slip, not even for a day.

“Trick or treating is a high risk activity that can cause the virus to spread further – if several people are putting their hands into buckets or bowls of sweets, there is a risk of transmitting the virus. It’s also important to appreciate that many people in their homes are trying to reduce social contact, and will not want visitors.”

Chief Inspector Kevin Weeden said:

“Our local neighbourhood teams will be out and about on patrols during this period. We also have dedicated patrols for Covid related specific calls, and I would urge residents to abide by the current regulations and the rule of six. I would also ask our Havering residents to maintain safe social distancing to reduce the likelihood of the risk of COVID transmissions.

“I understand these are very challenging and unprecedented times, but together we can reduce the risk of COVID spreading if we comply with the current regulations. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our Havering residents for their support and compliance during this time.”