24 Oct Coronavirus: People in Scotland told ‘stay at home’ this Halloween as Bonfire Night advice issued | UK News
People in Scotland are being told to “stay at home” for Halloween and not be “tempted” to hold Bonfire Night parties.
Advice issued by Deputy First Minister John Swinney says guising brings an “additional and avoidable risk of spreading the virus” and families should “avoid it”.
Guising is a Scottish form of trick-or-treating, in which children have to recite a song, poem or joke before being rewarded.
For Bonfire Night, people in Scotland have been urged to remember the rule of six, which applies outdoors, and does not include children under 12.
The Scottish government has banned households from mixing until 2 November. There are additional measures in the central belt of Scotland, including the closure of pubs and restaurants.
A document issued by the Scottish government says official guidelines are intended to “reduce the temptation for people to hold gatherings and firework displays in their back gardens”.
It adds that advice on the Parent Club website has ideas for a “safe Halloween at home” including “party games, fancy dress and storytelling”.
Mr Swinney said: “Under the current restrictions it is not possible to meet up indoors or in large groups outdoors, so the safest thing to do this year is to stay at home.
“I know guising is a big part of Halloween and children will be sad to miss out, but as door-to-door guising brings an additional and avoidable risk of spreading the virus, our clear advice for families is to avoid it.”
Discussing fireworks, Mr Swinney said it is “vital the public adhere to the rules on meeting up with other households”.
He added: “We know that some people may consider using fireworks in their back gardens. If you do plan on using fireworks this bonfire night, please do so responsibly and safely.
“Adapting alternative celebrations and sticking to the rules in place can go a huge way to ensuring everyone’s safety.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions in Scotland.
It will come into force on 2 November, if her plans are approved by the Scottish parliament next week.
Individual regions could be placed under different levels, so “we don’t have to take a one-size-fits-all approach if that is not warranted”, the first minister said.