While many communities have been issuing guidelines for keeping trick or treaters safe in the age of COVID-19, Los Angeles is now the first major city to ban the Halloween tradition entirely. An official public health announcement states:
As fall approaches families start to plan for the upcoming holiday season beginning with Halloween. Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health would like to share information on how to take part in this holiday in a manner that reduces your risk of developing COVID-19. Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated are not permitted this year consider some safer alternatives.
Halloween Activities Not Permitted
• Door to door trick or treating is not allowed because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick or treaters.
• “Trunk or treating” events where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats are also not allowed.
• Gatherings or Parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors.
• Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed.
So what can you do in Los Angeles on October 31st, 2020?
• Online parties/contests (e.g. costume or pumpkin carving)
• Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle-based parades including:
a. Drive by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive by “judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
b. Drive through events where individuals remain in their vehichles and drive through an area with Halloween displays.
c. Drive in events where individuals can receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged non-perishable treats) or take away item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle.
• Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters (must comply with the public health drive in movie theater guidance).
• Halloween themed meals at outdoor restaurants (must comply with the restaurant protocol).
• Halloween themed art installations at an outdoor museum (must comply with the public health museum guidance.)
• Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations.
How do you feel about Los Angeles banning trick or treating on Halloween in 2020? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.