Winnipeg’s mayor is urging parents to keep their kids home this Halloween because of the pandemic, and make some alternative spooky plans.
Provincial health officials have said activities like trick-or-treating can still go ahead if they are done safely.
But Brian Bowman said he wants Winnipeg parents to consider forgoing the annual tradition this year in order to limit their family’s points of contact.
“We all have a role to play,” he said.
“I would just ask that parents consider celebrating in a different kind of way this year, celebrating with your children at home and limiting that risk to the extent that you can on Halloween.”
Provincial health officials have issued a guideline for how to celebrate Halloween safely,
It includes a variety of advice for how to treat-or-treat safely, including:
- Only trick-or-treating with people from your family household.
- Wearing a non-medical mask.
- Keeping a distance from other groups.
- Knocking or calling “trick-or-treat” instead of pushing doorbells.
- Using hand sanitizer often while out and cleaning your hands after handling candy treats you bring home.
- Staying home if sick.
For people handing out candy, public health officials advise wearing a non-medical mask while distributing pre-packaged candy and using tongs to help keep a distance.
Earlier this week, Manitoba’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said people can still enjoy Halloween as long as they avoid large gatherings, wear a mask, and say physically distanced from other groups and households.
“If you’re feeling well and feel like going out … then do so and do so by practising those fundamentals. No one should be holding a Halloween party indoors,” he said.
“We just cannot be socializing like that outside of our household. So please, if you’re going to celebrate Halloween, have fun, find innovative ways, but do it safely.”
Asked if he was going to cancel Halloween this year, Premier Brian Pallister, who has historically not been a fan of the holiday, said Manitobans can make their own choices.
“It’s still a free country,” he said.
“And if you don’t want people to come to your door, leave the lights off. That’s the way a lot of families have told me they’re going to react.”