Oxford City Council has issued a reminder to residents to continue to follow social distancing guidelines this Halloween, as Oxford enters in to Tier 2 (High Alert).
The latest official figures show the infection rate is 137.1 per 100,000, but these do not reflect the full extent of university positive cases. Once all cases in the city are accounted for the figure is considerably higher. Cases are beginning to spread from young people into older age groups, and residents are urged to protect each other and observe the hands, face, space rules.
The change will take effect from 00.01 on Saturday morning, meaning that the new rules will be in place from the early hours of Saturday morning.
This means that under Tier 2 (High Alert):
- People must not meet socially with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- People must not meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space.
- People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible. If taking public transport, they should plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes.
However, despite Tier 2, the Council wants to remind residents how they can celebrate Halloween safely.
Stay safe this Halloween
Residents are reminded that traditional celebrations are likely to spread the virus and the council recommends they should:
- Avoid going door to door when trick or treating, and giving out treats by hand
- Not attend gatherings that are held indoors with members outside of your household
- Not attend outdoor gatherings where there are more than six people
- Not substitute a facemask with a Halloween mask as this will not keep you safe.
Some suggestions of ideas
- Getting involved in the Big Neighbourhood Pumpkin trail outside
- 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
"As we enter Tier 2 from Saturday morning, we want to remind residents of how they can celebrate Halloween safely. It is important that we all follow the guidance around Tier 2 in order to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. There are many creative ways we can celebrate Halloween while also stopping to spread the virus by not doing door to door trick or treating, or handing out treats by hand.”
Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities