Boston Releases Halloween, Trick or Treat Guidelines

The city is allowing trick-or-treating to go on despite COVID-19, but is advising residents to follow specific safety precautions

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Boston released its guidelines for Halloween during the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday morning.

Trick-or-treating will be allowed, but city officials are urging people to pursue safer alternatives if possible. And adults are being asked not to participate in gatherings or parties.

Need ideas to make your Halloween festive in spite of the pandemic? Lifestyle expert Limor Suss shared her best tips with us, including ways to have fun with your food, throw a virtual party or play games outside.

"Halloween is one of the best nights, and what's most important this year is that any person participating in activities does so in a way that is safe for not only themselves, but also their neighbors and community," Mayor Marty Walsh said. "We're asking people to take the extra precautions that are necessary this year, including avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters, wearing masks at all times, washing hands before eating any treats, and avoiding attending or hosting gatherings."

The city released the following tips for safe trick-or-treating:

Tips for safe trick-or-treating

• Trick or treat only with immediate family members
• Avoid direct contact with individuals passing out candy
• Wash hands before handling treats
• Wear a mask; a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask
• Stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you
• Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people

Tips to safely prepare for trick-or-treaters

• Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters
• Wash hands before handling treats
• Set up a station outdoors with individually wrapped goodie bags for trick-or-treaters
• Wear a mask; a costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask
• Stay at least six feet away from others who do not live with you

Though trick-or-treating is being allowed, city health officials are encouraging families to find safer, alternative or virtual ways to have fun this Halloween.

The safest celebrations involve people from your own household, are outdoors, and allow for social distancing and other safety measures, city officials said. In addition, the city is urging adults not to participate in gatherings or parties on Halloween.

Halloween activities without risk

• Carving or decorating pumpkins
• Decorating your home
• A virtual Halloween costume contest
• A family Halloween movie night
• A trick or treat scavenger hunt at home
• A Halloween neighborhood scavenger hunt from a distance

Halloween activities with risk

• Traditional trick-or-treating
• Trunk or treat events
• Haunted houses
• Hayrides or tractor rides
• Fall festivals
• Halloween parties or celebrations

The city said anyone who may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone who has it should stay home and not participate in Halloween festivities and should not be handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Walsh also noted that any Halloween activities are also subject to the current gathering size limits.

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