OXFORD City Council is encouraging residents to celebrate Halloween safely this year to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Oxford is in Tier 1 (medium risk) under new national rules announced last Monday.

This means that measures such as the rule of six, working from home where possible and 10pm closing for leisure and hospitality sectors remain in force.

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In order to tackle the spread of the virus, the city council is urging residents to do Halloween differently this year and plan low risk activities to protect their friends and neighbours.

Some of the activities that it discourages include trick or treating where treats are handed out and children go door to door and crowded costume parties held indoors or outdoors, or any gathering where there are more than six people.

It also says people should not substitute their face mask with a Halloween mask as this will not keep you safe.

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Councillor Marie Tidball, cabinet member for supporting local communities said: “We want to encourage residents and families to enjoy their Halloween celebrations safely this year.

"There are plenty of fun and spooky activities that you can take part in, whilst also ensuring you are following the social distancing guidelines. It is important that we try to reduce the spread of the virus to help protect each other."