Halloween just seems to get bigger and brighter and most families say it’s a great annual community-oriented activity that brings neighbourhoods together.
While it’s important to have fun, it’s also important to stay safe, and obey the laws!
Covid-19 hasn’t cancelled Halloween, but NSW Health has released some information and made some recommendations for celebrations this year.
Firstly, check on the current public health regulations in your area, to ensure that you’re not in breach of stay-at-home orders, the maximum guests at home if you’re hosting a party, or anything else that’s relevant. NSW Health recommends:
For those trick-or-treating:
- Carry hand sanitiser with you and use it often.
- Stay in small groups
- Keep 1.5 metres away from other households.
- Use a disposable bag for trick-or-treating and throw it out afterwards.
- Stay local — avoid crowded streets and footpaths.
- Only accept treats that are individually wrapped.
- Don’t share your treats with others from different households.
- Wear a mask
Handing out treats
- Hand out treats that are individually wrapped
- Stay outside – hand out treats at the gate.
- Be organised — avoid hand-to-hand contact, stay 1.5 metres away from each other
- Keep your hands sanitised
- Wear a mask
There are also some practicalities when it comes to safety. Obviously driving around on Halloween can be a hazard. If you need to go out in the car, watch out for small children! Visibility can be reduced at dusk and into the evening so drive slowly, and take extra care.
A parent or responsible adult really needs to supervise kids at all times, and accept treats only from households you know and are familiar with. It’s easy to forget ‘stranger danger’ when everyone is out and about enjoying themselves.
If you’re not going to be home, make sure everything, including your car, is locked up. While you might only be ‘down the road’ opportunists are everywhere and you could come home to find yourself a victim of theft. Easy to carry items like cash, mobile phones, wallets and keys or jewellery are typical targets of opportunistic thieves!
If kids are trick-or-treating on bikes, skateboards or scooters, then make sure they obey the road rules and wear a helmet, the fines are hefty. And while the headgear might not be the greatest costume accessory, riding without a helmet is against the law.
Teenagers usually prefer to go trick or treating unaccompanied and it’s up to parents to decide. If you do let your teens out, just make sure you know where they’re headed, who they’re with, and what time they’ll be home in case they run into any danger. Let them carry a mobile phone if it’s practical.
‘Sugar high’ stupidity
Most parents will tell you that the ‘sugar high’ is a very real thing. Some kids go crazy with too much sugar, and unfortunately this can be when they make bad choices — like egging houses, damaging property, or other acts of vandalism. These kinds of acts can land them in trouble with the law. Parents would be wise to have a conversation with kids beforehand to let them know the potential consequences of any destructive behaviour.
Remember, not everyone celebrates Halloween, and some people just want to be left in peace. So stick to the decorated houses. If you visit somewhere you’re not welcome, you could also be accused of trespassing.
And remember to consider the environment too – don’t leave a rubbish trail! In New South Wales littering is against the law. Anyone found guilty of littering can be fined.
To make this Halloween a good one to remember, just remember the Four C’s — be Considerate, be Careful, be Compliant (with the law!) and be Covid-Safe!
This post is informative only. It is not legal advice. If you have a specific legal matter you’d like to discuss, please contact us.