“We know that many people are eager to celebrate Halloween and that some are anxious about doing so,” said Silvio Adamo, the Town of Banff’s Director of Emergency Management. “It is important to respect others’ decisions to be cautious and everyone should take extra steps so Halloween can be scary for the right reasons.”
The Town’s Halloween Bonfire and traditional gathering at Banff’s Recreation Grounds are cancelled this year, however, many Halloween traditions can continue if following Alberta Health guidelines, and the Town is offering special programming for families and children.Trick-or-Treating
Residents should not feel compelled to hand out candy. If residents choose not to, leave outdoor lights off or use a poster
from the Government of Alberta, indicating candy is not being handed out. If choosing to hand out candy, wear a mask, and maintain a two-metre/six-foot distance. This can be done creatively with a candy slide, a long grabber/picker, or a table used to maintain the distance requirements. Candy should not be left unattended.
Parents should not feel compelled to send their children out to trick-or-treat. If going out, the ECC asks residents to remain within their neighbourhood, rather than driving to other locations. Minimize contact with others and trick-or-treat only with family or cohorts. Additionally, choose costumes that allow a mask to be worn underneath. Costume masks are not a substitute for an approved cloth or surgical mask that covers one’s nose and mouth. When trick-or-treating, avoid touching doorbells or railings and instead call out “trick-or-treat.” Upon returning home, wash hands and disinfect candy packages or set aside for 72 hours before consuming.
Most importantly, children and their chaperones should not go out trick-or-treating if they are sick, and anyone who is ill should not hand out candy.Adult gatherings
“House parties are strongly discouraged this year due to the very high risk of transmission of COVID-19,” said Adamo. “It is very difficult for people to maintain distancing, and with alcohol, masks come off. In other jurisdictions we are seeing this type of gathering can easily become COVID super-spreader events, which we need to avoid in Banff.”
On Halloween night, Town of Banff officials and RCMP will assist Alberta Health Services in enhanced monitoring of local bars and restaurants to ensure provincial rules are followed to minimize the risk of outbreak in Banff. This includes requiring all customers to be seated with a maximum of six people per group, which are required to be at least 2 metres from other groups. Concerns or complaints about COVID gatherings can be made online or by phone: banff.ca/covid#Complaint Family Halloween at The Fenlands
The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre is hosting a free morning of fun on Halloween day (Saturday, Oct. 31), for tots and children 0-6 years old. Small cohorted groups will be taken through three stations of fun including, Spooky Storytime, Echoes of the Forest Outdoor Play and some creative Arts and Crafts. All sessions will be led by qualified leaders. Costumes are encouraged! This program is being generously funded by the Banff Canmore Community Foundation.
All participating children must be registered in advance and families must also ensure they arrive on time for their scheduled slot. One parent per child is preferred.
Participants will be asked to enter through Door C at The Fenlands and will need to complete COVID-19 Health Screening. Masks are required unless a child who is younger than two years of age, or a child who is under five years of age chronologically or developmentally and who refuses to wear a Mask and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver.Session Times:
- 10 - 11:30 a.m.
- 10:30 – 12 p.m.
- 11 – 12:30 p.m.
- 12 – 1:30 p.m.
- 12:30p – 2 p.m.
- 1 – 2:30 – p.m.
Pre-registration is required by calling 403.762.1251 or online at banff.ca/registerFamily Halloween Fun Skate
On Halloween evening, on Saturday, Oct. 31, The Fenlands is hosting a free family fun skate between 4 and 5 p.m. All ages are welcome, but registration is required due to capacity limits. All participants are required to complete a health screening at the entrance and are required to wear a mask into the facility.
Pre-registration is required by calling 403.762.1251 or online at banff.ca/register
For more tips and requirements on how to safely enjoy Halloween, please visit www.alberta.ca/halloween-during-covid19.aspx