UPDATE: The county has backed down from its previously announced ban on trick- or-treating for Halloween. The guidelines issued Tuesday were changed on Wednesday, with trick-or-treating listed as “not recommended,” instead of “not permitted.” Read our updated story here.
LOS ANGELES – Citing the coronavirus, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has banned door-to-door or car-to-car trick-or-treating for Halloween, along with Halloween parties, carnivals and haunted houses.
In the latest update to the county’s coronavirus health orders, the Department of Public Health states that such activities pose too much of a risk for spreading COVID-19.
“Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated (do) not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives,” according to guidance posted on the agency’s website.
Banned under the county guidance for Halloween are:
— door-to-door trick-or-treating or “trunk-to-trunk” events, in which children collect candy from the trunks of parked cars;
— parties or gatherings with people outside residents’ own households; and
— carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and “haunted house attractions.”
So what can you do?
According to the county, online parties or contests, such as pumpkin-carving or costume contests, are allowed, as are car parades and drive-thru attractions. Drive-thru events can also include distribution of “treat bags,” but they are limited to “commercially packaged non-perishable treats,” and recipients must remain in their vehicles.
Drive-in movie nights are also acceptable, along with “Halloween- themed meals at outdoor restaurants,” art installations and decorations of homes and yards.
As always, people taking part in any such events must wear face coverings, practice social distancing and adhere to other health requirements, such as frequent hand-washing and avoiding confined spaces.