The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention advises against trick-or-treating on Halloween this year in the wake of the on-going global pandemic. The recommendation was released on Monday, which included specific guidelines that categorised activities according to the level of risk.
Los Angeles County had previously announced a ban on trick-or-treat activities. However, they backed down on that decision and issued a warning instead. Parties or any type of gathering with non-household members is still not allowed while carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and haunted house attractions are also prohibited.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on the other hand, said he would not impose a ban on the traditional trick-or-treat, but announced that the annual Halloween parade in Greenwich Village has been cancelled this year, CBS News reports.
One of the riskiest Halloween activities listed is door-to-door trick-or-treat and trunk-or-treating. Trunk-or-treat involves handing out treats from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots. Haunted houses as well as indoor parties are also considered high risk Halloween activities, the CDC states.
Individuals who have been exposed to Covid-19 should not participate in any in-person festivities nor should they hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. Although considered safer but still moderately risky, one-way trick-or-treats are a better alternative. This can be done by individually wrapping up goodie loot bags and lining them upfront for families to grab and go while practising safe distancing.
The CDC suggests that instead of indoor haunted houses, one-way haunted forests would be a less risky activity. People should wear masks and allow for about six feet distance between participants as " haunted" spots are likely to cause screams. Screaming increases the chances of aerosol particles to travel and propel at a distance.
Halloween-themed cloth masks are highly recommended while strongly emphasising that costume masks are not to be used as substitutes for wearing protective face masks. However, using both at the same is also not advised as this can cause difficulty in breathing.
Imbibing in alcohol or drugs is highly discouraged as this can cause increased possibility of poor judgement. Individuals who have attended holiday gatherings with people outside of their immediate household are advised to stay at home "as much as possible" for about 14 days.