Get creative this Halloween
30 October 2020Families are being challenged to think creatively about how they celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night this year.
Increasing COVID-19 infection rates and restrictions in Cheshire West and Chester mean that traditional activities need to be re-thought this autumn.
Trick or treating is advised against to reduce the spread of the virus and residents cannot meet with other households indoors, either at home or in a public place, because of restrictions in the borough, which is in the Local COVID Alert Level High category.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has put together a list of alternative ideas for Halloween.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “These events bring people together when the nights draw in and the weather turns colder and we all have to find ways to still do things we enjoy while protecting ourselves and each other from COVID-19.
“There are many ways you can still get involved, from virtual get togethers to spooky fun with your household, just think about how you can have fun without households mixing and spreading the virus.
“It’s far from ideal, but if we all stick to the restrictions, wash our hands regularly, cover our faces when in an enclosed space and stay two metres apart, we can all play our part to turn this around.”
There have been 802 cases in the seven days up to 27 October in Cheshire West and Chester and an infection rate of 234 per 100,000 people during that week.
The number of positive test results in each local authority area is updated regularly and the borough's data can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.
The Council is working with partners, including Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, to keep residents safe during the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.
Superintendent Jo Marshall-Bell, from Cheshire Police, said: “It has been a tough year for many, and we recognise that seasonal festivities are really important for mental health and wellbeing.
“We really want you to have fun this Halloween and Bonfire Night but to do so safely, within the law and bear in mind the current situation with the pandemic.
“Anti-social behaviour and criminal damage can have a significant impact on the local community and can have a long-lasting effect on victims. Now more than ever we need to pull together to help slow the spread of the virus - while celebrating Halloween a little differently.
“I’m confident the majority of residents will stick to the rules and do all they can to celebrate Halloween safely, but there will be an increased officer presence across the county to provide reassurance and for anyone who may have any concerns over the Halloween and Bonfire period. Our approach will continue to be engage, explain and encourage - and only as a last resort, enforce.”
Andy Gray, Station Manager and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Deliberate Fire Reduction lead, said: “Our number one priority is public safety and with organised displays cancelled this year we are concerned that people will turn to lighting fires and setting fireworks off themselves.
“Our message is clear – please do not be tempted to do so.
“Any fire can so easily get out of hand and spread to fences, sheds, properties and could cause fatal or life changing injuries, at the same time putting extra strain on emergency services and the NHS. Fireworks also can be dangerous if not used correctly and safely and can cause great distress to many people and their animals, so we’d encourage people to consider safer options to celebrate the bonfire period this year.”
The Council continues to work with our partners during this period and are supporting Cheshire Police with Operation Treacle.
The Council’s Community Safety Wardens and Detached Youth Workers will be out in those communities where there have been high incidents of anti-social behaviour in previous years.
Community Safety Officers will progress interventions in the most serious cases of anti-social behaviour.
The Community Safety Partnership is supporting local activity and we strongly echo the advice from the Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue service.
How residents can play their part to reduce the COVID-19 infection rate: