Have fun safely this Halloween, public health chiefs urge

Sandwell residents are being urged to have fun and stay safe this Halloween.

Sandwell Council has issued advice for people who are trick or treating or attending Halloween parties and events to keep themselves and one another safe.

Sandwell’s Director of Public Health Dr Lisa McNally said: “It’s really important that people don’t forget about Covid-19 as they celebrate Halloween. “Covid-19 case rates are rising in Sandwell. It’s so important that people ensure that they’re not putting themselves and others at risk by spreading Covid-19 – at Halloween and at any time. “If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of Covid-19, stay at home and get a PCR test. “Covid-19 can be a fatal illness and can also cause nasty symptoms as well as long-term complications for some people.

And remember, your best protection against Covid-19 is vaccination, so get your jabs – including your vital booster jab if you are eligible - as soon as possible.” Advice for a safe and healthy Halloween:

· Don’t attend Halloween events, don’t go trick or treating and don’t visit anyone if you have Covid-19 symptoms, if you have tested positive or if you have been told to self-isolate.

This includes children and adults.

· Do use a rapid test (LFT) before attending any events or going trick or treating. If it is positive, you must self-isolate and book a PCR test.

· Do take care not to light candles if you have used an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

Wash your hands with soap and water before handling matches, candles or lighters.

· If you go trick or treating, only visit houses of people you know and stay in well-lit areas.

· Keep your distance where possible and carry hand sanitiser.

· If you are giving out treats, give out ones that are individually wrapped.

· If you’re having a party, ensure you are in a well-ventilated space. Keep the windows open.

· If you are in a crowded indoor area, it’s recommended you wear a mask or face covering.

· Wash your hands regularly. · Maintain a distance from others if you can.

· Overall, remember hands, face, space and fresh air.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for adults, social care and health Councillor Suzanne Hartwell added: “We know people will be getting together and having fun with family and friends this Halloween, but Covid-19 has not gone away. “Keep your distance, wash or sanitise your hands when you can and if you are celebrating inside, let lots of fresh air in and consider wearing a mask.”

Anyone who doesn’t want trick or treaters visiting can download a window poster from West Midlands Police. Download the West Midlands Police Halloween 'no trick or treats' window card.

· Place the ‘no trick or treats’ card on your door or in your window to help deter trick or treaters (click below to download your own copy)

· If you do receive an unexpected caller at the door don’t feel pressured to answer it

· If you are expecting a caller always ask for ID · If you have a door chain make sure it is securely fastened at all times and be sure to use your spy hole viewer if you have one.

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