How to trick-or-treat safely in the age of COVID
The province has released guidance on how Manitobans can enjoy Halloween while reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.
According to the province’s website, Manitobans should focus on the fundamentals when celebrating, including staying home if you’re sick, washing and sanitizing your hands frequently, practising physical distancing when you are with people outside your household, and wearing a mask in indoor public places, as required by public health orders.
“For the most part, follow the fundamentals and follow the pubic health orders that are in place, so indoor gatherings in private residences when anyone eligible there is not vaccinated is limited to five people,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer at a news conference on Wednesday.
“Outside is safer,” he explained.
TRICK-OR-TREATING SAFETY TIPS
When it comes to trick-or-treating, the province said you should do so with a small group only, and limit to household members or a few close friends you normally have social interactions with.
It also recommends avoiding crowded, indoor parties, and following current gathering size limits.
When encountering others trick-or-treating, the province said to maintain a two-metre distance from people outside of your group, and take turns and wait until any group ahead is gone.
Want to give your home a Halloween-themed makeover? The province said you should decorate your household and yard for distance viewing.
TO MASK OR NOT TO MASK?
The province said you should wear a non-medical mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
You should also consider incorporating a non-medical mask into your costume, but the province said not to obstruct your eyes or sew anything onto the mask, as poking holes can make the mask ineffective.
The province also recommends masking up if you’re handing out candy.
HOW TO HAND OUT CANDY SAFELY
When it comes to handing out candy, the province recommends individual, contactless candy distribution using tools like tongs to give out treats at a distance or through a candy chute.
The province also recommended providing individual bags and to avoid self-service like a common candy bowl.
You should also provide wrapped, store-bought treats only.
Indoor or mall-based trick-or-treating is permitted where physical distancing is maintained and shared contact items are minimized or eliminated. However, the province said changing public health orders and the pandemic response system could limit or restrict these events, and you should check with the site before making plans.
PUMPKIN CARVING, HAUNTED HOUSES AND CORN MAZES
In terms of other Halloween festivities, the province recommends planning for outdoor activities where physical distancing can be maintained.
For pumpkin carving and decorating activities, provide individual tools and supplies.
The province also recommends a costume parade where physical distancing can be maintained.
Halloween attractions like haunted houses, corn mazes and pumpkin patches may be permitted depending on local restrictions. The province released guidelines for operators and attendees on its website.
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