Halloween is officially cancelled: Welsh Government strongly advises against ‘Trick or Treating’

At least you won’t be answering the door every five minutes

The Welsh Government are the first government within the UK to strongly advise against trick or treating due to the ongoing pandemic, as well as the newly announced two-week ‘fire break’ lockdown. Both Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night fall within the lockdown, though the advice regarding trick or treating was made before the ‘fire-break’ was announced. 

The Government’s concern regarding trick or treating is due to the obvious risk of door-to-door contact causing a spread of the virus. However, this arguably spoils the fun of Halloween for children and students alike as they cannot celebrate the normal traditions that come with the night, such as dressing up in crazy outfits or attending Halloween-themed events like pumpkin picking, haunted houses, and themed festivals. It seems definite that Halloween will be very different this year.

The national ‘fire break’ lockdown rules mean that you cannot celebrate Halloween with anyone outside of your household. Extended households will be revoked during the two-week restrictions, and the rules also advise against travelling anywhere with the exception of essential shopping.

A spokesman for the Welsh Government told Wales Online: “Sadly Halloween, like many other events, will be impacted by coronavirus”. He continued on to say: “We ask everyone to think how they can keep Wales safe this Halloween and not spread coronavirus.”

They have also made it very clear that Halloween parties should not be allowed, as they want to combat the virus quickly and efficiently. Going to parties would thereby multiply the risk in the virus spreading, as people from different households would be gathering inside.

Inspector Justin Evans also told Wales Online: “We also ask that you do your best to keep yourself and your family safe to prevent adding pressure to the emergency services during already busy times. We don’t want anyone’s enjoyment to get out of hand and cause distress or harm to others. By working together we can have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.”

There will be more pressure on individuals to stick to the rules, given the measures that will be undertaken if people are seen repeatedly acting outside of guidelines. The consequences include hefty fines, which have been taken very seriously in the Cardiff area. Anyone that is seen at a mass-gathering will be at risk of a fine between £1,000 and £3,000. Those hosting the gatherings may receive fines of up to £10,000.

There will also be consequences for anti-social behaviour. In Gwent, the police have warned that officers will be on the lookout to make sure people are adhering to the strict rules.

However, really there are plenty of ways that Halloween can still be celebrated. You can opt for the old-time classic of staying in and binge-watching Halloween films, carve pumpkins as a house, and make spooky-themed cocktails (or mocktails).  Children have even been encouraged to walk safely around the neighbourhood and take part in ‘pumpkin spotting’, so the Halloween spirit may continue without  the need to be in close contact with others.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

PSA: The excessive police presence in Cathays is harassment and an insult to students

Wales to enter a two-week ‘fire break’ lockdown

How to have a banging uni year without clubs