WINNIPEG - Mayor Brian Bowman is weighing in on the potential impact of gathering candy. He’s saying, "No thanks.” With COVID-19 cases in Manitoba setting records, many aren’t comfortable with Halloween as usual this year, and Bowman is among them. Provincial health officials have said trick-or-treating can go ahead as long as it's done safely, but Bowman says it’s best for parents to keep their children home today, and plan alternative activities.
"I would just ask that parents consider celebrating differently this year, celebrating with your children at home, and limiting that risk to the extent that you can on Halloween,” Bowman urges.
Premier Brian Pallister says people are free to make their own choices about whether to participate, but suggested if a household doesn’t want people coming to their door, they can leave the lights off, saying that's the way a lot of families have told him they're reacting to this year’s uncertainty.
Manitoba Health has issued guidelines for how to give out and collect candy safely, and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin has said people can still enjoy Halloween if they’re wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, and staying physically distanced from other groups.
But Dr. Roussin warns that nobody - anywhere in Manitoba - should hold an indoor Halloween party. The Manitoba Government is encouraging citizens to follow a number of guidelines when planning weekend activities:
- Wash or sanitize your hands often.
- Household members who feel unwell should not take part.
- Use the COVID-19 screening tool before participating in activities.
- If you start to feel unwell when out, return home as soon as you can.
- Be aware of local Pandemic Response System levels, and consider alternatives to trick or treating as appropriate to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- More information on Halloween and other holiday guidelines is available here.