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Dr. Strang's advice on how to have a safe Halloween

If you're giving out candy, having kids reach into the same giant bowl isn't an option this year
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Dr. Robert Strang is wishing Nova Scotia's trick-or-treaters a safe and fun Halloween.

And the province's chief medical officer of health is offering up advice on how to keep the spooky annual tradition alive while abiding by COVID-19 regulations, including maintaining a two metre/six foot distance from people who aren't in your group.

"Make sure your hands are clean and watch where your hands go," he said at a Wednesday briefing. "We're recommending, instead of putting your hand on a doorknob or a doorbell, a light rap of the knuckles on the door. "

If you're giving out candy, having kids reach into the same giant bowl to grab the goods isn't an option this year.

Strang recommends using tongs to drop candy into bags or putting out individual servings for the kids to take.

"It's important we don't have lots of hands going in the same place," he said.

If you're trick-or-treating inside, remember non-medical masks are required in indoor public spaces.

"A Halloween mask doesn't count unless it is a non-medical mask that is covering your nose and mouth," he explained.

If you don't feel comfortable giving out candy and you're planning on skipping Halloween this year, Strang said keep your lights off or put up a sign so kids don't come to the door.

The current gathering limit remains at 10 people so no groups should exceed that size. That rule goes for trick-or-treaters and adults who may be having parties or going out to a bar.

"There can be larger community gatherings of up to 50 as long as physical distancing is maintained between the individuals or established family or close social groups of up to 10," Strang said. "And in recognized businesses and organizations, they can have up to 200 people indoors or up to 250 people outdoors, again as long as physical distancing is maintained."

"And even if you've got great plans, if you're feeling unwell Saturday night, stay the blazes home."

Premier Stephen McNeil said other provinces experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving.

"I'm grateful here in Nova Scotia, on Thanksgiving weekend you had your turkey and you followed protocols," he said. He hopes to see the same this weekend.

"No matter what your costume you wear, or how many doors you knock on, you need to follow all of the protocols."

More advice on how to have a safe Halloween during COVID can be found here.

Halifax Regional Policeh have also offered up tips for trick-or-treaters, parents, candy givers and drivers.

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