HALLOWEEN is a time for spooky celebrations, fun and creativity.

However, for obvious reasons, this year's event will be different to any other in history.

The coronavirus pandemic means extra care must be taken and many parents will be wondering whether it's safe to let their children go trick or treating.

The Government has advised against it but not issued a blanket ban.

However, remember that most of Essex is now in the tier two (high risk) category.

It means that while children can still have fun, they have to stay safe by following certain guidelines.

Most importantly, groups must follow the rule of six and obey social distancing.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

They should also refrain from going inside other people’s homes and one or two members of the party would need to stand back when approaching the door, to account for members of the household answering.

Face coverings should be worn when exchanging sweets and sanitiser should be used after touching doorbells and knocking on doors.

More obviously, refrain from going trick or treating or leaving the house if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Covid-19.

It might be that you're not trick or treating yourself but instead planning to stock up on sweets and goodies for children to enjoy.

If so, individually wrapped sweets are more hygienic and you should consider leaving your treats outside in a bowl, as opposed to having people knock on your door.

As is the case every year, avoid knocking on the doors of those who are elderly or vulnerable.

And if you wish to remain out of the festivities, it may be a good idea to put a sign up in your garden or on your front door so you don’t have children knocking all night long.