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Coronavirus: Halloween trick-or-treating banned in Woodstock, N.B.

A child dressed as Mario from Nintendo takes part in a sensory Halloween event in Spruce Grove on Oct. 30, 2019.
A child dressed as Mario from Nintendo takes part in a sensory Halloween event in Spruce Grove on Oct. 30, 2019. Health Inspirations Photography

Like many traditions that have suffered the impact of COVID-19, Halloween trick-or-treating has been banned in Woodstock, N.B., this year.

Some area residents say they’re unhappy about cancelling the annual celebration.

“I very much disagree with it because they are taking this COVID thing too far,” said Calvin Morgin from Woodstock.

“Yes COVID is out there, but we have no cases, and if you want to go to someone’s house and the light is on and they are welcoming you, then I think you should,” said Debec resident Jerika Brooks.

“They have no right to ban it and to not allow us to go trick-or-treating if we feel like we should,” said Brooks.

“Maybe they could put a sign out saying that they are not welcome there, or they could place candy outside if they wanted to participate but not be person-to-person,” Brooks said.

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Read more: Dad hopes his ‘candy chute’ design will save Halloween during COVID-19

Some, on the other hand, agree with the safety measure.

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“I think it’s a great idea to have it cancelled. The schools are doing all they can to protect our children, and I don’t think going door-to-door is the right way to do it for Halloween,” said Nackawic resident Sheila Barrow.

Woodstock city council voted unanimously to ban door-to-door trick-or-treating on Tuesday.

“I think a number of people are forgetting that we still are in a state of emergency, our number one priority is to make sure that we protect the safety of our citizens within our community,” said Woodstock Mayor Arthur Slipp.

Click to play video 'Will Halloween 2020 happen?' Will Halloween 2020 happen?
Will Halloween 2020 happen?

New Brunswick health officials said in a statement they are working on creating recommendations for a safe Halloween during COVID-19.

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Public health recommendations will be released later this month, and will be tailored to the level of emergency on Oct. 31, the statement said.

Slipp said the town is “working with service groups in the community right now to try to come up with some type of alternate Halloween experience.”

Woodstock is believed to be the first town in Canada to officially ban trick-or-treating due to COVID-19, but likely not the last.