Warwickshire residents encouraged to celebrate autumn events safely - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire residents encouraged to celebrate autumn events safely

Rugby Editorial 27th Oct, 2020 Updated: 27th Oct, 2020   0

RESIDENTS are being encouraged to have a fun but safe autumn – particularly when celebrating Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and the county’s Police and Fire and Rescue services are encouraging residents to find new ways to celebrate safely and in line with current Covid-19 guidance.

For Halloween on Saturday (October 31), residents are urged not to go trick or treating, to avoid potentially spreading Coronavirus. NHS bosses are also asking for families not to leave bowls of treats for children to pick up from outside their houses, as different hands in the bowls could spread the virus.

Families are encouraged to take part in a Pumpkin Trail in their neighbourhoods by putting a pumpkin or a drawing of a pumpkin on display in front windows. Every time a child spots a pumpkin in someone’s window, their parent or carer can add some sweets to their bucket.

Parents and carers are also advised to ensure children are kept away from any candles or jack-o-lanterns and swap these for safer LED lights, and to ensure costumes are bought from a reputable supplier and meet BRC safety guidelines.

Dr Shade Agboola, Director of Public Health for Warwickshire said: “We need to be extra mindful in the coming days. It’s important to still celebrate with your loved ones but we need to do things differently to reduce the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.”

With most public firework displays cancelled this year, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue is recommending alternatives such as watching virtual firework displays on television or using sparklers in gardens.

Tim Sargent, Group Commander at Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If you do decide to celebrate Bonfire Night with fireworks or a bonfire in your garden, remember that you still need to stick to the rule of six and adhere to all firework and bonfire safety advice.”

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights which takes place from November 13 to 16, will also be disrupted by the pandemic, with celebrations limited by social distancing and number limits on gatherings.

People are still encouraged to light up their homes with lamps and candles and cook up feasts to share with their households or bubbles, while following the rule of six. Those who choose to celebrate at home are reminded to never leave cooking, oil lamps or candles unattended.

ACC Debbie Tedds from Warwickshire Police added: “We want people to enjoy the upcoming events, but we do all need to do things differently and find new ways to celebrate that keep everyone safe during this health emergency.

“We know the vast majority of people in the county are following the rules, and we really do thank them for their efforts. We need to keep that going even during this period when normally we would be celebrating a number of events with larger gatherings.

“Warwickshire is in the Medium tier, which means that the ‘rule of six’ still applies. We are stepping up our patrols in areas where we have seen breaches, and continue to work with businesses and all our partners to ensure the rules are being followed.

“Where we find clear breaches, we are taking enforcement action as we know that these measures are in place to protect our communities.”

See above or click here to watch a video featuring Dr Shade Agboola, Group Commander Tim Sargent, and ACC Debbie Tedds addressing the community on how best to celebrate safely this year.

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/celebratesafely for more information.

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