Should children be allowed to trick-or-treat during coronavirus pandemic?

Trick or treaters - but should the Halloween custom be cancelled this year? Picture GETTY IMAGES/IS

Trick or treaters - but should the Halloween custom be cancelled this year? Picture GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are only a few weeks to go to Halloween - but should trick or treating go ahead?

Have your say in our reader poll over whether you feel the custom should be cancelled in 2020, along with so many other events.

The custom has become increasingly popular over recent years, with many parents in Suffolk dressing up their little ones as ghosts and ghouls to visit friends and neighbours.

However, this year, in light of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing guidelines, there are concerns over children calling at multiple households.

It has been reported nationally that confectionery companies are expecting a fall in sales over Halloween, after nearly £60million was spent on chocolates and sweets in 2019.

MORE: Suffolk pumpkin patch and maze honour NHS heroesSome families may decide to celebrate Halloween at home instead. However, it looks as if inviting friends round for parties will also be out, with a ban on gatherings of more than six people being introduced today.

On Facebook, readers have said they think trick or treat will not be safe this year.

Kath Chmiel commented: “I have already assumed it will be cancelled. My three kids go every year, but this year they won’t be. Think Boris needs to make an official announcement about it and tell people not to.”

MORE: Christchurch Park fireworks cancelledJenna Wallace said: “I’ve never let my kids go and do it... teach them all year round not to take things from strangers, but it’s different on that one day a year?! My kids also get scared of people in costumes.”

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Stephanie Dye said: “No, decorate the house instead! Just do some food, games and dress up on Halloween night.”

And Diane Louise Fairfull said: “I have brought an outfit for my little one, but can always save till next year, as not sure I want to take him at the moment.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “The pandemic has been hugely challenging for older people and we know that many have concerns about returning to any form of normality, which includes answering the door to trick or treaters this Halloween.

“We hope everybody follows the government guidelines and is aware of local restrictions. If visiting doorsteps, be sure to step back after knocking, so you are around two metres away from the person when they answer the door and make sure everybody handwashes before and after eating and handling treats.

She added: “A large number of older people are feeling lonely right now and we all need to remember that loneliness affects your health, your wellbeing and the way you see yourself - it can make you feel invisible and forgotten, so it is more important than ever for us all to be vigilant and look out for older neighbours, relatives and friends to make sure they’re OK.

“For some a friendly visit from their neighbours or family members may be a welcome treat this Halloween, just be sure to check what the person is comfortable with when calling round.”

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