Covid Tier 2 rules for Halloween in Derbyshire as police issue new trick or treat guidance

Halloween is not cancelled under the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in place across Derbyshire, but police have issued guidance about how to celebrate safely.

By Robert Cumber
Friday, 23rd October 2020, 12:18 pm

Chesterfield, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and parts of the High Peak are all under Tier 2 lockdown, with different households banned from mixing indoors, while Tier 1 restrictions apply elsewhere in the county.

There are no rules under any of tier of the lockdown restrictions which specifically forbid trick or treating, provided social distancing is observed, but police and council leaders in Chesterfield have asked people to forgo the traditional practice this year.

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Families in Derbyshire have been asked to avoid going trick or treating this Halloween due to coronavirus (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

Chief Constable Rachel Swann, who chairs the Derbyshire Local Resilience Forum, which brings together councils, emergency services and health organisations to tackle the pandemic, has advised families how they can celebrate safely.

“Traditionally at Halloween children and families visit households and meet with friends and in a large part of our county this is not possible at the moment. We are not saying not to celebrate but look at ways of celebrating differently,” she said.

“The rules that keep us safe from Covid-19 every day apply just as strongly on Halloween. Follow your local alert level guidelines and remember that school bubbles do not apply outside of school.

"Maintain social distancing, wear a face covering in any busy place, inside or out, and wash your hands regularly. Remember to take hand sanitiser if you go out.”

Chesterfield Borough Council says that to reduce the risk to children and others, and to combat the rise in infections, it is recommended that children do not go knocking on doors or collect sweets from communal bowls.

It is asking people to be more creative, with alternative activities including:

Creating a pumpkin trail where you live so everyone can join in without knocking on doors

Getting dressed up and taking a walk around your neighbourhood to show off your costumes in a socially distanced way

Holding an online party with decorations, fancy dress and themed food. Play Halloween games, bake Halloween treats or tell spooky stories

Taking photos of your spooky costumes and activities to share on social media

Dressing up the outside of your house with Halloween decorations for you and your neighbours to enjoy

Buying your own sweets to give your children so they do not miss out. You could even hide them around the house and have a Halloween hunt

Carving a pumpkin, but be sure to use a battery powered light inside rather than a candle to reduce the fire risk.

Councillor Jill Mannion-Brunt, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Halloween is normally a great occasion for the whole family and there is no reason that it can’t still be fun, but we need to change how we celebrate Halloween this year in order to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.”

Chief Constable Swann added: “We’re all striving to keep the county out of tighter lockdown measures, and the way we celebrate Halloween and how we mark forthcoming events like Bonfire Night and Remembrance Sunday will have an impact on this.”