witch costume and pumpkin in a room

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (as amended)

You are advised not to go Trick or Treating this year. Nor, presumably, should you take a drive to test your eyesight. Advice is one thing; Regulations are another. It the difference between ‘should not’ and ‘must not’. 

The doorbell rings.  Should you answer?  You open the door to be presented by six children under 12. They are exempt from the Regulations. You can offer them a treat but it would be advisable to provide individually wrapped items of confectionery to limit the potential for contamination.

The doorbell rings again. This time it is their older siblings. The Regulations apply. On opening your door, you become the second household to their gathering. If there are six of them, that is a big family! At least one must fall back as you are now the new number six.  

That said, if your door opens onto the street rather than a private garden the pertinent number seems to be 15. This provision may be intended to apply to outdoor parties rather than door-to-door activities. 

Under the latest version of the Coronavirus Regulations, individual participants:

  • must wear a mask
  • should keep their distance
  • should limit social contacts
  • should download the App 

A traditional Hallowe’en mask may not suffice, and so you might want to wear a face mask as well as or as an alternative.  

Hand sanitiser should be used after touching each doorbell. Your haul of individually wrapped sweets should be washed before consumption.

Be considerate. Vulnerable individuals may not want to be exposed to potential risk from uninvited callers. 

Happy Hallowe’en! It is not cancelled; just significantly curtailed. 

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