Milton Keynes Council have asked for local families to take extra precautions if they are planning Halloween activities this year.

At the moment, MK is at the lowest Government COVID-19 alert level, medium, which means gatherings inside and out of up to six people are allowed.

But local confirmed cases of the virus are rising, and the council’s public health experts are asking people to think twice about whether to go trick or treating at all. 

Stops at multiple houses – where some vulnerable people may be shielding and may already feel concerned about answering the door – increases the risk of spreading COVID-19.

As part of their advice, MK Council have also noted the following:

  • People with any symptoms of COVID-19 (new continuous cough, raised temperature, change or loss of sense of taste or smell) must isolate and shouldn’t take part in any activities
  • Groups should be no larger than six, indoors or outdoors
  • Social distancing rules apply, so if you’re trick or treating please step back when you knock at a door
  • Use hand sanitiser regularly, and wash hands before going out and when you get back – before eating sweets
  • If someone doesn’t feel comfortable answering their door, don’t keep knocking
  • Buy packaged sweets to share, and consider leaving them on your doorstep individually – rather than unwrapped treats in a bowl

Milton Keynes Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health, Oliver Mytton said, “Cases of COVID-19 have been rising rapidly in Milton Keynes. We all need to continue to take action to keep our families and communities safe and protect our NHS.

“When celebrating Halloween please be sensible and stay safe – and look for different ways to enjoy Halloween this year.”

As part of their advice, MK Council suggested the following five alternatives to trick or treating:

  • Pumpkin trails, where residents can help children carve or draw pumpkins and place them in windows for neighbouring children to have fun pumpkin spotting
  • MK Council is funding MyCinema throughout the October half term with 12 spooky drive in films shown. Thanks to council funding it costs just £5 per car with all proceeds going to MK Food Bank.  Films will be announced on 19 October on the booking site mymiltonkeynes.co.uk/my-cinema
  • Hold a virtual trick or treat with friends and family. Arrange to be around in advance and share costumes via video call or just share a spooky joke over the phone
  • Have fun decorating your house, taking advantage of templates and crafting ideas online
  • Have a Halloween scavenger hunt by giving children a list of Halloween themed decorations to look for on a walk, such as spiders, cobwebs or ghosts, or hide treats around your house and set clues to find them