Halloween is just around the corner and for many families with children that means dressing up, getting spooky and a night of sugar-highs! But this year, it also means being COVID-safe.

NSW Health currently supports individuals participating in Halloween, as long as the community transmission rates of COVID-19 remain low. So, what does a COVID-safe Halloween look like? As usual, the advice remains the same: stay 1.5metres apart from others, practise good hand hygiene, stay home and get tested if you feel even slightly unwell, and wear a face mask if physical distancing isn't possible. Here's some more Halloween-specific tips you may want to try:

Keep it local
This year, it’s a good idea to stay around your own home. Avoid travelling to streets that are known as being popular at Halloween time. Some people may be self-isolating or may be particularly vulnerable, so they may choose not to participate and that's OK.

Stay outside
If you choose to accept trick or treaters and whether you live in a house or apartment, don't let people inside. Stay outside and trick or treat from your front yard or footpath.

Keep it small
Halloween is a night of fun - and we know plenty of young people like to gather together and hang together in the streets. This year, you're reminded to keep the groups small and stay local. A small party in your backyard might be the best bet or meet a local park for a picnic. Just remember to follow the rules – outdoor crowd size is restricted to 30 or less.

Don't share
This isn't what parents normally teach their kids, but this year, sharing isn't caring. Avoid digging through a friend’s lolly stash and keep your own lollies to yourself. Don't share face masks or costumes either.

Use wrappers
If you plan on giving out lollies, stick to those that have wrappers. The same goes when you're accepting a lolly – politely decline if they're not wrapped.

Sanitise regularly
Keep hand sanitiser nearby and whether you're giving or receiving lollies, regularly sanitise your hands.

Mask up
Halloween is a great opportunity to wear a mask! But even if your costume doesn't call for one, you may want to wear one to protect yourself.

Be clear
If you're home but you don't want to accept visitors, don't answer your door and don't put decorations out. To make it even clearer, you may want to put up a sign that says: We are home, but we are distancing, so we won't be answering the door.  If you still want to partake, you can leave a bowl of wrapped lollies outside with a sign that says, “please take only one”.

Although Halloween might look a little different this year, that doesn't mean fun can't be had! Rather than roaming the streets, you may decide to have a party with a small group of neighbours or meet in the park with friends. Dressing up and eating lollies can still be done in a COVID-safe way if we all follow the advice from NSW Health on how to stay safe. Happy Halloween everyone!