Victorians know all too well it is the season for mask wearing, but whether trick or treating will be safe this Halloween remains uncertain.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says the date is an “eternity away”.
“It’s certainly one where I would expect we’ve got much freer opportunity to move around,” he told reporters on Monday.
“In terms of the numbers overall, we’re still trending in the right direction.
“Fingers crossed that your kids and my kids and everyone else’s kids can get out a little bit.”
The event, celebrated in America on October 31, has gained increasing popularity in Australia in recent years and piles of giant pumpkins ripe for carving have already made their way into supermarket aisles.
But specialist Halloween retailers admit interest and sales are down this year.
“It has dropped, there’s no two ways about it,” says Witches of Halloween store manager Robert Passador in Melbourne.
“Most people would come into the store to have a look at what’s available, but because of COVID they haven’t been able to.
“Some people like to get a touch and feel of some of the bits and pieces, especially the ones that are motion activated.
“We have sold a little bit online, because that’s the only avenue of sales at the moment.”
A bulk of the store’s Halloween stock is usually ordered by March from China, but this year the order was cancelled due to insufficient orders across Australia.
It means animated talking ghosts are unavailable this year, while other more ornate, expensive pieces such as tombstones haven’t sold as much.
“People want to come in and see it and buy those,” Mr Passador said.
Melbourne’s House of Horrors offers spooky props for hire and usually holds a Halloween Maze.
But under stage four restrictions, it won’t be able to, so it is organising other activities.
It’s instead running costume competition on its Facebook page, getting children to dress up in their spookiest get-up, upload the photo and be in the running for a coffin full of candy.