The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that traditional Halloween events, such as trick-or-treating, costume parties and haunted houses, are off-limits this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, WTVD reported.
“Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses,” the CDC warns in a document titled “Holiday Celebrations.”
“There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween,” it claimed.
The CDC lists “lower risk activities” as a replacement for normal Halloween activities:
- Carving pumpkins with one’s family or with friends “at a safe distance”
- Halloween scavengers hunts where children admire “Halloween decorations at a distance”
- Hosting an online Halloween costume contest
- Having a Halloween-themed movie night at home with immediate family members
These socially isolated events will replace the communal traditions of trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, costume parties, indoor haunted houses “where people may be crowded together and screaming,” hayrides with people outside one’s immediate family, and fall festivals.
The CDC also offers a few “moderate risk activities” for the daring Americans who want to live dangerously this Halloween.
All of these activities require masks, hand sanitizer and 6 feet of physical separation.
- “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”
- “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”
The document warns about the risk of “screaming” at Halloween celebrations. If screaming will occur at any of these events, additional physical separation must be enforced.
The guidance also called for changes to Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Día de Los Muertos, Navratri, Diwali and Thanksgiving.
These celebrations will “likely need to be different this fall to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”
The CDC advises Americans not to gather with their extended families, attend parades or shop this Thanksgiving.