Just where are the Halloween houses?

HALLOWEEN is Saturday, and local trick or treat Facebook pages are offering extra safety tips this year.

This year the locally run Facebook pages ‘Trick or Treat 3850’ for Sale residents and ‘Maffra Trick or Treat’ for Maffra residents; are up and ready for Halloween enthusiasts.

The pages have a house registry, where people can register their houses if they are decorating and giving out treats.

On Saturday, the lists of houses will be available on the pages for those wanting to find the places to get treats without knocking on doors randomly.

The pages also have printable signs and suggestions to help things run smoothly.

For Sale residents there will also be a best dressed house competition with a $100 first prize.

Liz McKenzie, who is involved in running the pages, said for those wanting to get a bit spooky on Saturday, it was important to remember a few extra safety tips in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms McKenzie said it was important to follow government safety advice, and the pages also had a few rules of their own.

Children should be under 16 years old to get treats; each group should have a guardian with them; only take one treat per child per house; follow instructions provided by each house; do not knock on the doors this year (it should be run in the front yard); be polite and wait your turn, and follow health and safety rules.

This Halloween there are some actions you can take to keep your friends, family and community safe, while still enjoying yourself.

If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) get tested and stay at home. By staying at home this Halloween, you help to keep your friends, family and community safe.

Wear a face mask with your costume, but remember that a costume mask that is part of your Halloween costume is not a substitute for a face mask. Consider making your own mask and decorating it.

Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and people you don’t live with. This means no hugging or kissing when greeting people. Don’t share food or drinks.

While we can’t celebrate in the normal ways we would, there are alternative options.

Have a Halloween party outside in a public place. You can catch up with a group of up to 10 people (including yourself). Babies under 12 months of age aren’t included in the 10-person limit. An outdoor public place means an area accessible to everyone, including local parks and beaches.

Do a Halloween scavenger hunt by giving children a list of Halloween-themed things to look for as they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance. Just like eye-spy. The limit of 10 people (including yourself) applies to scavenger hunts.

Carve or decorate pumpkins with members of your household.

Have a virtual costume party or party with friends and family on video chat.

Have a Halloween movie night with your household.

Create an around the house trick or treat or scavenger hunt for your household.

Coronavirus is still with us, and celebrating at home is the safest way to mark Halloween this year. If you do trick or treat, you need to stay safe. It is safer not to hand out lollies or candy to trick-or-treaters this Halloween. This is because the virus can spread on surfaces, including food or packaging.

Under current restrictions traditional trick or treating where you knock on someone’s door is not permitted. If you can’t resist handing out lollies this year you can do so by having candy available outside of your home.

Don’t use communal bowls for lollies or candy.

Putting lollies in a shared bowl will mean everyone is touching the same food and surfaces which isn’t safe.

Instead, put individually wrapped lollies or candy in bags for non-contact collection.

Place bags on your fence, at your front gate or outside your home for collection.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before preparing the bags or individually wrapped lollies or candy.