Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that Americans avoid Halloween celebrations that involve in-person interactions this year.
The agency says traditional in-person Halloween festivities -- like having an indoor costume party, going to a haunted house, or giving out candy to trick-or-treaters going door-to-door -- should be avoided this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC said. “There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.”
While group gatherings and giving out candy in the traditional way aren’t recommended this year, the CDC says Americans can enjoy Halloween in a number of low-risk ways, including:
Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household;
Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends;
Decorating your house, apartment, or living space;
Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance;
Having a virtual Halloween costume contest;
Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with; and
Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house-to-house.
Halloween activities categorized by health officials as “moderate risk” include:
Participating in “one-way trick-or-treating,” where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance;
Having a small-group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart;
Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart;
Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced and people can remain more than 6 feet apart;
Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing; and
Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart.