State health officials are advising Californians to skip trick-or-treating this Halloween, though their new guidelines released Tuesday stop short of prohibiting the activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The guidelines come as trick-or-treaters ready their costumes for the holiday, which falls on a Saturday this year, potentially adding to the number of gatherings across the state.
Health officials voiced concerns that it’s not possible to practice social distancing while trick-or-treating and that people would interact with members of other households. State officials are strongly discouraging trick-or-treating and instead suggested that some Halloween activities move online, such as costume contests and pumpkin carving, and have recommended families forgo going door to door for candy and instead go on a walk while dressed up.
“This is a recommendation,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said on Tuesday. “Does that mean that trick-or-treaters will see some enforcement? Absolutely not. We don’t want to turn certainly what is a celebration and a time of joy into something that is difficult or contentious, but we also recognize the need to provide a clear understanding of the risks and why we recommend strongly that we do Halloween differently than we have in the past.”
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