Can Paranormal Teams Start Ghost Hunting Again Now The Coronavirus Restrictions Have Been Eased?
May 19, 2020 6:00 AM ‐ Paranormal
In March paranormal teams across the UK were forced to temporarily halt all paranormal investigations due to the coronavirus outbreak, but now England has started to ease its restrictions is now the time to return to ghost hunting?
The rules imposed by the government on March 23rd to slow the spread of COVID-19 included banning public gatherings, asking us only to mix with those in our own household, and limiting us to just one hour of outdoor exercise each day - alone or with members of the same household.
Of course, this meant that ghost hunting was off the table, but as of May 13th the rules have been carefully modified by the government in England. Sadly, this change sill prohibits public and group ghost hunting events, but there is some leeway.
We're not an official authority on how the rules apply to ghost hunters, but since we all need to find a way to adapt and settle on a "new normal," we think that while the changes are only small, they do allow investigators a little more freedom in some situations.
Can I Conduct Paranormal Investigations Again?
We're now allowed to drive any distance for some time outdoors and we can take unlimited exercise or "open-air recreation" once we're there. This means that you can safely travel to some paranormal hotspots again and investigate them while you take a stroll around, but there are still some important restrictions and limitations to remember.
Firstly, the changes in the rules only apply to England. Wales and Scotland are still in a state of lockdown, so you should not drive over the border into either of these countries.
Secondly, you should only be exercising or enjoying the outdoors with people from your own household. If you're a husband-and-wife ghost hunting team, or you live with your team mate then this is great news. It means you can almost go out as normal to investigate.
However, you can meet up with one other person from outside your household as long as you maintain a distance of two meters from them at all times. It's fine to just sit in the park or sunbathe with them, or you could indulge in some exercise. Apart from close-contact sports, this can be pretty much any kind of exercise or sport, including tennis, fishing, or even walking. If you're walking, then there's no additional risk in attempting to make contact with some ghosts.
Although this means you can investigate with a friend from a distance, you should not share a car to a location and must travel independently.
You should also remember that we are still encouraged not to use public transport, so if you rely on buses or trains to get you to a location, then you should not go.
Whether you are in a household group, or it's you and one other person from another household, you should only be investigating outdoor locations, as you still shouldn't be entering buildings or homes. This would apply even if you are with someone from the same household because entering a building would mean contaminating door handles and any other surfaces we come into contact with.
The main reason for staying outdoors is because the risk of infection outdoors is much lower. The flow of air helps to disperse the infectious droplets expelled by coughs and sneezes. Luckily in the case of ghost hunting, there are countless buildings in England that are in ruin and worthy of investigation.
Castle ruins, a house with its windows long gone, or the roofless shell of a building would all be very low risk locations to investigate, as long as social distance can be effectively maintained within the building.
These types of properties are much safer because they don't have doors or others surfaces that you'll come into contact with, and they are so well ventilated that it is essentially the same as being outside, but you should avoid small rooms, lookout for dead ends and bottlenecks, and stay clear of other members of the public who might be in the building.
Should I Wear A Mask While Investigating?
If you're investigating outdoors there is no requirement to wear any kind of face covering. However, if you are in an enclosed space with someone from outside of your household or where there is a risk of coming into contact with members of the public, you should aim to wear a face covering.
The government have said that there is no need to wear a mask when you are outdoors or while exercising. They've also asked the public to avoid surgical masks or respirators which should be left for healthcare staff and other workers who need them.
Even though it's not strictly require to wear a mask outdoors, you may want to consider wearing a face covering if you intend to film or live stream your investigation just to show your audience that you are taking the lockdown seriously.
I Hunt Ghosts For A Living, Should I Be Going Back To Work?
If you rely on income from paranormal investigation, either from private investigations or because you produce ghost hunting content in the form of television shows, YouTube videos or live streams, then another recently announced change may make your life easier.
Boris Johnson told us that if we can't work from home then we should be encouraged to go back to work where it is safe to do so. This includes cleaners, plumbers, electricians, cooks, nannies and any other 'in-home workers'. So would this mean paranormal investigators could visit a house to search for spooks?
Technically, yes. Professional paranormal investigations would be allowed and is no riskier than having a plumber or painter and decorator in your house to work, but arguably fixing a leaking pipe is more important than uncovering what goes bump in the night right now, so you need to consider whether it warrants the risk.
If an investigation can be carried out risk free then it is a positive step forward. A self employed paranormal investigator is currently able to apply for financial support from the government, slowly returning to work where it's safe to do so will mean their income is restored and they'll no longer require government bailouts, which is a step in the right direction.
The other really important thing to remember is that you cannot undertake any work in a household which is isolating because one or more residents has symptoms or where an individual has been advised to shield. Steps should be taken to avoid face-to-face contact with clinically vulnerable people and over 70s, or avoid these cases all together.
You must of course also maintain social distance from not just your clients, but also your colleagues or team mates. Wash your hands regularly, clean any surfaces you touch, and discuss how your visit will be carried out to minimise risk for all parties.
Can I Live Stream Or Film A Ghost Hunt?
Yes, so long as you abide by all the restrictions and limitations above there's no reason why you can't film your investigation or even stream it live.
You should do a reccy of the location in advance to ensure that it's safe and appropriate to film there. Once you begin filming, make sure the camera angle clearly shows that you are two meters apart at all times. Although masks aren't needed outdoors, you might consider wearing them during investigations for the time being to show you're not taking any risks and that you are taking the government's guidelines seriously.
If you have a large audience or following online, then it's important to be seen to be doing the right thing and setting a good example, and that you are not encouraging other to break the rules. So consider explaining to your audience what you are doing to stay safe and ensure them that you are doing all you can to prevent the spread of the virus.
Tips To Keep You & Others Safe
- Do not travel to a location using public transport or in a car with someone from outside your household
- Keep two meters apart at all times
- Wear a mask in enclosed spaces
- Take your own equipment and avoid handing devices to others
- Use hand sanitiser after touching any surfaces
- Do not investigate any location where you may come into contact with infected or shielded people
- Do not drive to Wales or Scotland
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