Trick-or-treating should be a no-go in Harrow this year as the council urged people to celebrate festivals safely over the coming months.

Harrow Council announced that the traditional act of visiting your neighbours over Halloween would be unsuitable at this time as it is “an ideal way for )(coronavirus) to travel between houses”.

It is part of a wider campaign encouraging residents to take extra precautions to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 during autumn and winter celebrations.

Halloween (October 31) is shortly followed by fireworks events associated with Bonfire Night (November 5) – though for 2020 large organised events have been cancelled and restrictions are in place for garden parties.

This is then followed by Diwali – an important festival for Hindus and Sikhs, celebrated by large communities in Harrow – and Cllr Krishna Suresh, who is responsible for crime and community cohesion at Harrow Council, has reminded people to follow basic guidelines.

He said: “Whilst the Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing, keeping residents safe is rightly our number one priority. But this does not mean that our celebrations must cease.

“There are many ways to mark them while still maintaining social distancing and following the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ rules.”

He noted that cases in the borough continue to rise, following on from a warning from council leader Cllr Graham Henson that it could enter Tier 3 – currently the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions outlined by the Government – if the trend does not reverse.

The council suggested a number of other ways people could celebrate this year, including holding virtual parties or decorating your own home.