With summer coming to a close and fall fast approaching, the COVID-19 pandemic remains the scariest terror of all, prompting Los Angeles County health officials to release guidance on how to safely celebrate the upcoming spooky Halloween season.
“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 said in a news release.
As of Tuesday, the number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the county had climbed to 249,241 with 6,036 deaths.
“While holidays are typically a time to come together with extended family and friends to celebrate, we ask you to alter your plans this year and take responsibility by not engaging in any risky activities that can spread the virus,” Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week ahead of the Labor Day holiday.
Less than two months away, here’s a list of what’s allowed and what’s not this Halloween:
- 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.
- Online parties and contests, like costume contests 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-thru events where individuals remain in their vehicles 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
Local theme parks including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood have all canceled their annual and much-anticipated Halloween events because of the pandemic. But the annual Los Angeles Haunted Hayride has been reimagined in an effort to safely scare its guests despite social distancing requirements.