What Manitobans can expect from Halloween this weekend

WINNIPEG — As Manitoba continues to grapple with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the province’s top doctor is warning people they will need to celebrate Halloween differently on Saturday.

Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said on Monday that Halloween will “look different” this year, and Manitobans need to decide if it is worth the risk to celebrate this year,

“If you’re feeling well, and you’re sure you can be out without any close contact with others, you can find a way to try and enjoy Halloween,” Roussin said.

On Monday, Roussin said COVID-19 cases have been rising in Manitoba due to people not limiting the number of contacts and having large gatherings.

READ MORE: Manitoba’s top doctor is calling out those who are not following the rules 

Earlier in October, the Manitoba government issued guidelines to celebrate Halloween safely, saying people handing out candy should ensure they are keeping their distance from children, and using non-touch ways to distribute candy, such as tongs.

If parents are taking children trick or treating, non-medical masks should be incorporated into the child’s costume.

Roussin added Halloween parties are discouraged this year.

“One, it’s against the law right now with our group sizes,” he said. “Two, you can see that we put people at risk with large gatherings.”

Gathering sizes, both public and private, are limited to five people indoors and outdoors.

Premier Brian Pallister, when asked Monday afternoon, said the province had no plans to cancel Halloween.

“As much as we might question it during a pandemic, it’s still a free country, and if you don’t want people to come to your door, leave the lights off,” he said. “That’s what a lot of families have told me they’re going to react this Halloween, as an exception.

“At this point, unless Dr. Roussin comes in with additional recommendations in very short order, that’s the freedom of decision making that Manitobans are going to enjoy this coming Saturday.”

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