Readers react to Scottish Government's urge for no guising on Halloween this year

The Scottish Government is calling on families to put off guising for Halloween until next year to help prevent further spread of the virus – and it’s sparked a divided response from you, our readers.

By Katharine Hay
Saturday, 24th October 2020, 6:36 pm

While many seem to be in agreement with the latest guidance to put the festive door-to-door tradition on hold this Halloween, other readers claim the move is futile.

We thought we would share some of your views on the recent announcement, which will affect millions across the country.

Reader Charmaine Doyle said she thinks the government’s step for calling on families to stay indoors this Halloween is “common sense.”

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Families urged to not partake in guising this Halloween due to Covid-19 picture: JPI Media

She added: “It’s kind of obvious there should be no guising this year because everyone should be staying at home; essential journeys only.”

Lorna Willins agreed saying: “I'm not really sure what the furore is all about. It’s just one Halloween and one Christmas, and at the end of it we all hopefully have good health.”

Reader Stacey Robertson said families can find alternative ways to celebrating the festive event.

She said: “This doesn’t mean that Halloween is cancelled.

"It just needs to be done differently this year. Nothing wrong with staying at home and spending time with the kids, maybe playing Halloween games or having a treat hunt indoors.”

Alan Thomas agreed with the new guidance saying “all children should be staying at home with their parents” to prevent further spread of the virus.

No need for the guidance

But others argued “kids need to be kids” and claimed the risk of children going door-to-door during the festive period is not as big as the government is making it out to be.

William Orr commented saying he and his family will leave treats at his door for children who still wish to participate in the Halloween tradition.

Daniel Brown described the Scottish Government’s decision to stop children going outside as “utter madness.”

He said: “Who are the government trying to tell kids aged three to six they can’t go out guising, it’s complete, utter madness.”

Catherine Doyle disagreed with the recent guidance enforced today saying: “What a pile of utter tosh.

"Kids don’t go into houses ,well the ones I know don’t.

"Anyway, they go to school together. Kids need to be kids!”

Kerry Mckinven said the new guidance seemed unnecessary given deliveries and other services can continue going door-to-door around the country.

She said: “So, how come all the deliveries can be delivered to your door?

"And Scottish Power can come and read your meters, but kids can't go outdoors?

"Please tell me the difference between this because to me it’s the same thing.

"It’s like it [the Scottish Government] is out to ruin everything for kids this year because apparently kids going to doors will spread Covid-19. Give it a break.”

Another reader commented: “This is ridiculous. If I can grab a parcel or a chippy at my door I can let my kids go trick-or-treating as long as they aren't in groups.

"We have put up decorations and will leave a bowl outside with a sign for those who don’t want the door answered.

"There is no way this is a risk, it is very minimal contact.

"If you don’t want to take part or at you are at risk, pop a wee note up.”

Lee Campbell agreed with those against cancelling guising on this year’s Halloween saying: “Surely if they are saying kids are fine and can still all go to school together why can't they guise?”

Government’s announcement

The Scottish Government made an announcement calling on families across Scotland to avoid door-to-door guising for this year’s Halloween celebrations on Saturday, 24 October.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney says the move is necessary to protect public safety and to ensure residents stay within the current restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings.

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.

“Children can still get dressed up and share jokes with their families, and our Parent Club guidance has lots of fun and creative ideas for families to enjoy a safe celebration at home."

Mr Swinney also warned families must follow the rules during this year’s Bonfire Night in a bid to prevent further spread of Covid-19.

He added: “On Bonfire Night it is vital the public adhere to the rules on meeting up with other households to help stop the spread of the virus.

"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.”

Advice on the government’s Parent Club website suggests ways for families to have a safe Halloween at home including ideas around party games, fancy dress and storytelling.

For Bonfire Night, the advice includes guidelines around group sizes, distancing and FACTS precautions to reduce the temptation for people to hold gatherings and firework displays in their back gardens.

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