While residents of Bogotá won’t have to endure a long weekend curfew compared to their Medellín counterparts given rising new daily cases of infection across the department of Antioquia, on Thursday, Mayor Claudia López did outline the rules of Halloween 2020 engagement. “Children are going to have their Halloween! super fun… but at home!” said López, adding that youngsters have already “paid an infinite sacrifice with the pandemic.” So, while costumes are encouraged, ghouls, ghosts and witches can scare the wits out their parents and loved ones at home, but no trick or treating on the streets of the capital. Malls and amusements parks must furlough Halloween this year with no presential or seasonal events.
López justified the rules given that “90% of parents have refused to take their children to school as a precaution due to the pandemic. They have not sent them to school to study – which is essential – much less are they going to risk infection over candy.” If having to leave home parents are advised to not accept sweets from strangers, check the expiry date of packages and ensure all contents are well sealed. Sweets that are cracked or moist could be contaminated.
The district’s Health Secretariat Alejandro Gómez also explained the use of face masks for children:
Children under the age of 2 should NOT wear a face mask.
Children age 2 to 5 should wear masks only in case they are in contact with sick people or places with lots of human activity. Adult supervision is recommended.
Youngsters 12 or older must use masks like adults.
Gómez also emphasized that face mask should not be worn over masks that are part of a costume as this could restrict breathing or lead to suffocation. In the event of an accident or indigestion requiring urgent medical attention, parents should take their children to the nearest hospital, stressed the Secretariat.
For adults, Halloween can involve Zoom parties, home cocktails and playing Dungeons and Dragons, but not with strangers. Crowded parties will be shut-down and hosts face a fine for violating the national government’s Preventive Selective Isolation decree. If neighbors feel – or hear – too many reggaeton thumps in the night, or suspect a clandestine rumba taking place, they are encouraged to call the Emergency response hotline: 123. You’ve been warned.
López’s rules and recommendations come a day after President Iván Duque extended the Preventive Selective Isolation decree to November 30, signifying that Colombia’s overland and maritime borders remain closed. On Thursday, Colombia registered 11,187 new cases of Covid-19 raising the national total to 1,053,122. Bogotá reported the highest increase with 2,954 additional cases since late August.