BCCDC releases guidelines for trick-or-treating festivities
By Jessica Berget, Assistant Editor
“We’ve been telling everyone—I know I have—that if you want to have a low-risk activity, what you do is you have people socially distanced, outside, wearing masks, preferably not in crowded conditions. Cancelling such a low-risk activity won’t make sense to kids. It doesn’t make sense to adults; it certainly doesn’t make sense to me. I’m really so disappointed,”
While some cities are deciding to cancel trick or treating completely this year, BC is still is allowed to carry out everyone’s favourite part of Halloween. With the holiday right around the corner, provinces’ health and safety institutions are releasing guidelines for the candy collecting activity.
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) released some rules for this year’s celebrations. They recommend celebrating locally and less socially than previous years—with only about six people in each bubble—and warn against sharing snacks, drinks, “smokes, and tokes.” They also recommend standing outside to hand out candy so children don’t touch the doors or doorbells, and using precautions when handing out candy, such as tongs, ensuring each piece is sealed and pre-packaged, and even making a “candy slide” to distribute the treats. As for decorations, they also recommend forgoing the fog machines which can induce coughing for some.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam says indoor parties are a big no-no for this year’s spooky celebrations, but trick or treating should be fine as long as physical distancing is maintained. New Brunswick will be expected to carry full out Halloween fun, complete with door-to0door candy distribution, but people participating are recommended to still take precautions such as washing and sanitizing their hands. Some provinces, however, are not so lucky.
Quebec for instance will have much stricter regimens for Halloween fun. Premier Francois Legault announced that kids will have to celebrate with only their families for this holiday, not with friends. People handing out candy will also have to ensure they stay two metres away from the trick or treaters. He also emphasized that this Halloween will be only for kids as no parties should be organized. Ontario’s Medical Officer of Health David Williams recommends that children in Toronto, Ottawa, Peel, and York do not go out for treats this year, as these cities are COVID “hot spots.” The decision has been met with much criticism from disease experts who say the city could have come up with some fun and safe options. An infectious disease physician in Toronto, Dr. Andrew Morris, takes issue with the cancellation. “We’ve been telling everyone—I know I have—that if you want to have a low-risk activity, what you do is you have people socially distanced, outside, wearing masks, preferably not in crowded conditions. Cancelling such a low-risk activity won’t make sense to kids. It doesn’t make sense to adults; it certainly doesn’t make sense to me. I’m really so disappointed,” he said to The Globe and Mail.