Oxford City Council is encouraging residents to celebrate Halloween safely this year, to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Oxford is in Tier 1 (medium risk) under new national rules announced on Monday. This means that measures such as the rule of six, working from home where possible and 10pm closing for leisure and hospitality sectors remain in force.
In order to tackle the spread of the virus, the City Council is urging residents to do Halloween differently this year and plan low risk activities to protect their friends and neighbours.
Celebrate Halloween safely
There are still plenty of ways to have a spooky celebration, some suggestions of ideas include:
- Getting involved in the Big Neighbourhood Pumpkin trail
- Hosting a virtual Halloween costume party with friends and family
- Holding a Scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home
- Carving or decorating pumpkins to light up the doorstep or in the window
- Pumpkin picking at one of Oxford’s local farms
- Socially distanced Halloween dance party on your doorstep
- Host a virtual Halloween quiz
- Have a Halloween film night with your household members
- Make a Halloween themed face mask/covering
There are organised socially distanced events taking place across Oxford.
The events are below:
- Oxford Castle and Prison Ghost Fest
- Oxford Official Ghost Tour
- Ashmolean Museum: Where's Wally? Spooky Museum Search!
- Halloween entertainment at Blenheim Palace
- Science Oxford Spooky Science Family Open Day
- Ultimate Picture Palace socially distant Halloween screenings
- Hinksey School Spooky Safari
- Oxford Playhouse: The Great Big Story Mix Up - Sat 24 to Wed 28 October (Online Event)
- Oxford Playhouse: C.O.V.I.D. (A Clown's Overly Vivid Imagination & Desire) Masterclass (Online Video Workshop)
Stay safe this Halloween
Residents are reminded that traditional celebrations are likely to spread the virus and should be avoided:
- Trick or treating where treats are handed out and children go door to door.
- Crowded costume parties held indoors or outdoors, or any gathering where there are more than six people.
- Do not substitute your facemask with a Halloween mask as this will not keep you safe.
Current social distancing guidelines still need to be followed during the Halloween festivities:
- Keep to the rule of six and remember hands, face, space.
- Maintain physical distance from people you don’t live with. Remember to stay two metres apart.
- If you’re hosting an activity, it is safer to hold it outdoors.
- If you have COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 you must self-isolate.
"We want encourage residents and families to enjoy their Halloween celebrations safely this year. There are plenty of fun and spooky activities that you can take part in, whilst also ensuring you are following the social distancing guidelines. It is important that we try to reduce the spread of the virus to help protect each other.”
Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities