It might be best to make alternative plans this year.
While children are free to make trick-or-treating house calls on Halloween night this Sunday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has urged parents to take basic precautions amid a worrying surge in coronavirus cases.
A further 1,631 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the past 24 hours, with 503 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalised, of which 101 are in ICU.
“Maybe don’t meet up with multiple groups of children over the weekend and the core and key message and it will mean some children are very disappointed, but if you have a sick child then please isolate them and don’t let them mix with other children,” Dr Glynn told an NPHET briefing.
“It’s not a message that any of us want to be giving or a message parents want to hear but we do need to take the basic precautions.
“If your children are going on playdates or engaging in sport, think about all of the other activities they’re engaging in and just see do they need to be engaging in everything that they’re engaging in, given how high incidence is in the country at the moment.”
Earlier on, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said the incidence of COVID-19 is increasing at a “concerning” rate, especially among children.
“The seven-day moving average is now 2,043, up from 1,138 only three weeks ago. Incidence is increasing across all age groups, highest in those aged 5-12 years.” he said.
“A combination of higher levels of social contact, a move to socialisation indoors and a collective relaxing of basic public health behaviours combined has led to this surge of infection.
“The importance of individual, institutional and sectoral attention to risk mitigation is crucial at this point. I encourage all of us to ensure we are following basic public health advice and to expect the presence of infection prevention control measures in settings we visit.”