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Lockdown trick-or-treating guidance is still unclear in Kent as councils await confirmation of central government rules

Spooky costumes are already filling the supermarket shelves, but fright fanatics across Kent are still wondering how to trick-or-treat during a pandemic.

There's been no word yet on any lockdown specific guidance for those wanting to head out on Halloween, so some people are coming up with other ideas to have fun and keep those spirits up.

Halloween will probably be a bit different this year. Stock picture
Halloween will probably be a bit different this year. Stock picture

In Thanet, a mum from Ramsgate set on making sure children can still have fun this year - while staying safe - has launched the Thanet Pumpkin Trail.

Ange Martin says she was concerned little ones would miss out due to Covid-19 restrictions, so created the group on Facebook and it has now reached more than 3,300 members.

It invites households wanting to get involved to put up a picture of a pumpkin in their window, with the words Thanet Pumpkin Trail, and when a child on the trail spots it, the adult with them can give them a sweet.

It means no knocking on doors, like in previous years while out trick-or-treating, and therefore helps reduce any threat of spreading Covid-19.

A map and list of all the roads in which households are taking part has been posted on the group, with families encouraged to get involved in the fun.

Ange Martin has started the Thanet Pumpkin Trail
Ange Martin has started the Thanet Pumpkin Trail

Ms Martin said: "I feel it's really important that children don't miss out on Halloween this year because they've already been through so much and have missed out a lot this year.

"Children's mental health is so important, more now than ever after everything they've been through this year.

"I have a blog and post on Instagram about mental health and lifestyle, in particularly children's mental health, so to be able to organise something for the children to look forward to and to keep their spirits up - no pun intended - really is amazing and means a lot to me personally."

Lockdown or no lockdown, Kent Police always advises parents not to let young children trick-or-treat alone and only go to houses that are known to the family.

Parents of teenagers should advise them to stay in a group and not go into the homes of someone they do not know.

Halloween is not going to be quite the same this year. Stock picture: National Trust
Halloween is not going to be quite the same this year. Stock picture: National Trust

Kent Police also advise parents to ensure their teens know not to frighten people, play tricks or knock on doors with a 'no trick-or-treating' sign clearly displayed.

As coronavirus guidelines have been changing so rapidly, many Kent councils are waiting until nearer the time to publish or refer people to advice in time for Halloween - including Dover and Medway.

Other councils do not traditionally issue guidance and will instead refer residents to police and central government guidelines - including councils such as Ashford, Folkestone and Hythe, Maidstone and Tunbridge and Malling.

A Maidstone Borough Council spokesman said: "Maidstone Borough Council is aware of new restrictions and COVID-19 guidance regarding events and will be working with its partners and stakeholders including Kent Police to ensure these measures are followed."

Other councils which have been contacted for comment include Canterbury, Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet and Tunbridge Wells.

Lockdown trick-or-treating guidance is still unclear
Lockdown trick-or-treating guidance is still unclear

Already, some family-favourite Halloween scare festivals has been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Organisers behind the Broadwitch Hauntfest near Gravesend announced in August event had been called off.

And the annual Screamland at Dreamland in Margate is also unlikely to go ahead this year either.

Kent Police have said they are currently drawing up advice and guidance for trick-or-treaters, which will be released some time in October.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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