The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has disrupted most every aspect of our lives including traditional festivals as the year progresses.

Halloween looks to be no exception, with the classic trick-or-treating antics of younger people posing a direct risk of transmitting Covid-19, regardless of what spooky costumes they are dressed in.

As such, Epsom and Ewell Borough Council (EEBC) have taken it upon themselves to issue a range of guidance and advice for residents hoping to celebrate the autumnal festival with ways they can do so while minimising the risk of spreading the virus.

“While some Halloween activities will have to be paused this year, there are ways you and your family can enjoy spooky fun while staying safe from exposure to COVID-19,” the council told residents in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

It was accompanied by a list of “Six spooktacular low risk activities”, reproduced below:

•Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them in your window or outside

•Getting the Bake Off vibe and gather the household to make ghoulish and tasty Halloween cakes and biscuits

•Celebrating with a movie night with the people you live with and dress as your favourite characters

•Taking part in a ‘spot the pumpkin’ trail, where people display pumpkin or Halloween pictures in their windows and you have to try and find them all with your family (a good walk around the neighbourhood remembering to socially distance)

•Organising a Halloween scavenger hunt by hiding Halloween treats (and tricks) in and around your home for your children to find

•Having a virtual Halloween costume competition using a video chat app

EEBC added for clarification that certain typical Halloween activities like the door knocking entailed in trick-or-treating would be discouraged as they would put the community at greater risk of coronavirus infection:

“Higher risk activities to avoid this Halloween (include) traditional trick-or-treating, where sweets are handed to children who go door to door, attending a party where there are more than six people from different households and going to any event where people may be crowded together and screaming,” a statement from EEBC read.

Councillor Barry Nash, chairman of the community and wellbeing committee, added: “This year, we need all the fun we can get. Many of the Halloween traditions we have adopted over the last few years, such as trick or treating, carry a risk.

“The challenge is how to still have fun but to have it safely and consider how to make fun, Covid safe”.

To that, EEBC added for pumpkin carvers in particular: “If you are pumpkin carving, be careful to avoid pumpkin carving injuries.

“Children can draw a face with markers and then an adult can do the cutting. Consider putting a battery-operated light rather than an open-flame candle inside your carved masterpiece.”

Halloween falls on Saturday October 31 this year.