Halloween may be an American tradition but it is gaining popularity in Australia, giving children and the young at heart an opportunity to dress up for an evening, meet neighbors and score some candy and chocolates.
While thoughts of health and safety come hand-in-hand with Halloween celebrations, particularly around trick-or-treating, this year safety precautions are more prominent than ever due to COVID-19.
NSW Health has shared its support of individuals participating in COVID-safe Halloween celebrations on Saturday, October 31 "providing levels of community transmission remain low and participants follow current rules when gathering together".
The health authority's advice for a COVID Safe Halloween is:
- Keep 1.5 metres apart
- Practise good hand hygiene
- Stay home and get tested immediately if you are feeling unwell
- Wear a face mask if you are unable to physically distance
COVID-safe tips if you plan to hand out treats
NSW Health recommends:
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 over Halloween, stay home, don't receive Halloween visitors and get tested immediately
- If you are self-isolating, don't answer the door to trick-or-treaters
- Make it a front-yard event, not at the front-door of your house. Keep your celebrations outdoors and get creative in decorating the front yard
- Only hand out individually wrapped treats
- Don't use communal lolly bowls. Consider other ways of distributing treats such as hanging them individually on your fence, front gate or up your driveway
- Offer hand sanitiser at your front gate or fence
- You may wish to avoid people knocking on your door by putting up a sign that says "We are home but due to COVID-19, we are distancing. Please take one, Happy Halloween"
- Remember, you can only have 20 people on your property at one time.
COVID-safe tips if you plan to trick-or-treat
NSW Health recommends:
- If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and give trick-or-treating a miss this year. Get tested immediately
- Keep it local by staying in your suburb rather than going to well-known "treat streets" that attract crowds
- Celebrate outside, don't go to people's front door
- Stay in small household groups (for example a supervising adult and children from the same household) rather than groups of young people together. Remember, no more than 20 people can gather outside in a public place
- Stay 1.5 meters away from people you don't live with
- Only take treats that are individually wrapped
- Use a disposable bag to collect your treats, and dispose of it appropriately afterwards
- Don't share your treats with others from different households
- Don't share costumes or costume face masks
- Carry hand sanitiser with you and use it often, especially after touching common surfaces.
Sweet spin on Halloween with introduction of Spooky Pines
Pure Gold Pineapples is challenging Australians to support Queensland pineapple growers by picking up one of its Sweet Pines and have a go at carving it for Halloween.
The network, which consists of 20 Queensland-based pineapple growers and packing sheds, has introduced specially marked Spooky Pines to Australian supermarkets and is challenging individuals to "drop the American tradition of carving pumpkins and instead support the local pineapple industry".
"After battling drought, fire and hailstorms, as well as the challenges COVID-19 have presented this year, the team at Pure Gold have found a novel way people can support the industry and for families to start a fun new Aussie tradition," Pure Gold said.
"Best of all, carving pineapples there is no wastage, simply use the flesh of the pine in your favourite recipe or enjoy it fresh."