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Simon Harris: Trick-or-treating 'not a good idea' this year

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris is appealing to parents and children to skip trick-or-treating this Halloween to prevent further spread of Covid-19.

814 new cases were detected in Republic of Ireland last night, with two more deaths announced by the Department of Health.

Three counties now have a 14-day incidence rate of more than 300, while in hospital, 198 were being treated for the disease last night.

In relation to Halloween, let me say this, it's going to be different this year.

Mr Harris said that Halloween will be different this year and that trick-or-treating is "not a good idea".

"I've gotten lots of contact from lots of children asking about Halloween, and in the past when we've been blunt and honest with our kids they've responded with such resilience,” Harris said.

"It's been so tough for them, they've had communions cancelled, confirmations cancelled, schools closed, exams cancelled, graduations moving online and all sorts of different things."

He added: "In relation to Halloween, let me say this, it's going to be different this year. It's not a good idea to start trapesing around to everybody's house but that doesn't mean you can't have a good time.

"It doesn't mean you can't dress up in a scary costume, it doesn't mean your mum or dad can't get treats into the house or watch a spooky movie or play some games."