As people begin to plan celebrations, it is important to take precautions to prevent COVID-19. When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees.
Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household are a low-risk alternative to traditional gatherings.
Those who feel unwell should not take part in in-person celebrations of any kind. Use the COVID-19 screening tool before participating in activities.
- Those who feel unwell should not participate,
- Trick-or-treat with people from your social bubble,
- Keep physical distancing from other groups, take turns and wait until any group ahead is gone,
- Sanitize hands frequently,
- Only go to homes with a porch light on,
- Maintain physical distancing,
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds when you get home,
- Always examine the treats and toys that are brought home before giving them to your children
- Let the candy sit for 24 hours, or sanitize the wrappers, before eating,
- Throw out any candy that’s open, has torn packaging, or appears homemade.
If you don’t feel comfortable with your kids going trick-or-treating, consider putting together a Halloween treat treasure or scavenger hunt in your home!
Giving out Candy
- Provide wrapped, store-bought treats only,
- Use tools such as tongs or a candy chute to distribute candy at a distance,
- Do not use a common candy bowl for kids to take from,
- Wear a non-medical mask when giving out candy,
- Maintain physical distancing.
If you don’t feel comfortable handing out candy but still want to participate, consider putting together candy goody-bags for children in your social bubble!
COVID and Costumes
- Having a costume mask on top of a non-medical mask may not be safe,
- A costume mask is not a substitute for a non-medical mask unless it has multiple layers of breathable fabric and covers the mouth and nose snugly,
- Try incorporating a non-medical mask into your costume (do not paint though, as this can prevent easy breathing),
- Ensure costume does not require frequent adjustments that involve touching the face,
- Children under the age of two should not wear a non-medical mask.
- Masks should not obstruct vision,
- Dress for the weather, plan your costume with cold-weather in mind,
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant,
- If out after dark, fasten reflective tape to children’s costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks,
- Make sure Halloween Makeup / Facepaint is nontoxic,
- Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping or entanglement.
Consider Alternatives to Parties
At any gatherings, individuals must practice good hand hygiene, maintain appropriate physical distancing, and adhere to any current gathering size restrictions.
- Pumpkin carving and decorating where individual pumpkins and tools are provided,
- A costume parade where physical distancing can be maintained,
- Attending Haunted Houses/Ghost Tours/Corn Mazes/Pumpkin Patches that follow restrictions.
Keep your holiday traditions, but rethink them to keep everyone safe.
- Video chat with friends and family to show off costumes and play games,
- Netflix party a scary Halloween movie with friends.
For bonus points, include Halloween themed snacks and drinks! Share the recipes ahead of time with your fellow virtual partiers.
Published: October 26, 2020
“Holiday and Celebration Information”, Province of Manitoba, https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/holidays.html
“Halloween safety: Tips for families”, Caring for Kids, October 2019, https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/halloween_safety
“Halloween & COVID-19: Have Fun While Staying Safe”, Healthy Children.org, 10/5/2020, https://healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Halloween-COVID-Safety-Tips.aspx
“Halloween Health & Safety Tips”, Healthy Children.org, 10/5/2020, https://healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx
“Simple Steps for an Extra Safe Halloween”, The National Safety Council,https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/tools-resources/family-safety-health
“Holiday Celebrations”, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept. 21, 2020,https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
“Halloween safety”, Government of Canada, 2015-10-26,https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/halloween-safety.html