RESIDENTS across the North-East are being urged to put safety first this Halloween as Covid restrictions remain in force.

Halloween traditions may look a little different this year but there is no reason why families can’t still have some spooky fun.

Tier 2 restrictions prevent you from mixing inside with people outside your household or support bubble while only groups of six can mix outdoors, making Halloween parties a no-go and apple bobbing definitely off the cards.

There is still fun to be had in and outdoors, but Darlington Council is "strongly discouraging" trick or treating due to the challenges of maintaining social distancing and the risk of sharing food and sweets.

Here are some Covid-secure ways to enjoy Halloween instead: 

In the home

  • Organise a Halloween treasure hunt within your own household
  • Host a virtual party with themed games and music
  • Watch a scary movie with the family
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Make your own Halloween costumes

Outdoors

  • Give your own doorstep a spooky make-over or craft a pumpkin for others to enjoy
  • Walk from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations. The facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thepumpkintrail/ has some great suggestions
  • The rule of six applies when outside but if you do meet other families, remember to keep a two-metre distance from anyone you don’t live with
  • Wear a face covering if you can – you could even make this part of your costume
  • Take sweets with you to share amongst your own household and give them out every time you spot some decorations
  • Don’t trick or treat – knocking on people’s doors and sharing sweets is not recommended
  • Take hand sanitiser with you and use it if you need to
  • Wash your hands with soap and water once you get home
  • If you, or someone in your family, is self-isolating please stay at home this year.

Cllr Jonathan Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s deputy leader, said: “Halloween traditions may need to look very different this year, but there’s still lots of ways you can have fun.

“Due to the current high number of coronavirus cases in the area, we are urging people to follow the current local restrictions on social gatherings and mixing with other households in their homes and gardens, to keep each other safe.

“Trick or treating outdoors is sadly not recommended. It is important that we try to reduce the spread of the virus and protect our communities.”