Halloween: COVID-19 guidelines

Read our guidelines for having a safe and fun Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What you need to know about the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from someone who's infected through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when they cough, sneeze, sing or yell;
  • close prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or
  • touching something with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

The risk of COVID-19 transmission increases when:

  • the number of people you‘re in contact with increases; and
  • the time you spend in contact with them lengthens.
General guidance

Ensure that you’ve read and incorporated the Safe 6 into your planning as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Maintain physical distancing – keep a minimum of 2 metres (6 feet) away from anyone who’s not a member of your social bubble.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • If you become ill while trick-or-treating, or accompanying someone who is trick-or-treating, you should go home immediately.
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items such as handrails, door knobs and door bells.
Creative ideas for a safer Halloween
  • Carve or decorate pumpkins.
  • Bake Halloween treats to share with your family or people in your social bubble. Here are some ideas:
    • pumpkin cookie;
    • haunted house cake;
    • ghost meringues;
    • popcorn balls;
    • monster cupcakes; and
    • ghost cake pops.
  • Have a candy scavenger-hunt style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home (something like an Easter egg hunt).
  • Do a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Have an open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 2 metres (6 feet) apart.
If you decide to go trick-or-treating
  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering when appropriate ‒ consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Trick-or-treat with people within your consistent in-person social bubble.
  • Do not gather on or crowd on a doorstep; wait until the group ahead is gone before going up to a door.
  • Keep interactions brief with people giving out treats.
  • Avoid ringing door bells or knocking on doors to limit contact with high-touch surfaces and objects.
  • Consider using a costume prop to gently “knock” on the door (for example, a broom or sword).
  • Do not sing or shout for your treats because this creates more droplets.
  • Only trick-or-treat at places that clearly signal that they’re participating. Signs of participation include seeing a porch light on, a lit jack-o-lantern or decorations.
  • Only trick-or-treat at places where you feel comfortable in the preventive measures being taken.
  • Clean your hands often, especially:
    • before and after handling your non-medical mask or face covering;
    • after touching frequently touched surfaces;
    • when you arrive home from trick-or-treating; and
    • before and after handling or eating treats.
If you’re distributing candy to trick-or-treaters
  • Clearly indicate that you’re welcoming trick-or-treaters by:
    • turning a porch light on;
    • lighting a Jack-o-lantern; or
    • putting up Halloween decorations on your property.
  • Do not have any direct physical contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Clean and disinfect common touch areas such as handrails, doorbells and doorknobs frequently while distributing candy.
  • Think creatively about how to use tools to distribute candy at a distance such as:
    • using barbecue tongs;
    • using a hockey stick;
    • standing on your porch while sending candy down a large PVC tube to trick-or-treaters below; or
    • directing trick-or-treaters to your clothes line that has small bags of candy attached with clothes pins;
    • prepare individually wrapped goodie bags and line them up along your driveway or on the lawn for families to grab and go so they do not need to come to the front door.
  • Do not leave treats in a communal bucket for children to grab because this creates common touch points.
  • Distribute only wrapped, store-bought treats.
  • If you prepare goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Have only 1 household member hand out candy.
  • Practise frequent hand hygiene while handing out Halloween treats.
  • Consider wearing a non-medical mask where 2 metres (6 feet) of physical distance cannot be maintained.
  • Do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats.
  • Do not use gloves to hand out treats ‒we do not recommend you wear these.
  • Consider placing tape markers every 2 metres (6 feet) between doorways and sidewalks or driveways to promote physical distancing.
If you’re planning a haunted house
  • Plan a 1-way traffic flow to promote physical distancing (for example, enter through 1 door and exit through another).
  • Use markings or dividers and visual cues in common areas to ensure that people can maintain physical distancing.
  • Use a non-medical mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable.
  • Avoid the need for people to touch any surfaces with their hands.
  • If screaming will likely occur, 4 metres (12 feet) of physical distancing is recommended. Screaming creates greater amounts of droplets than speaking does.
  • Do not use props that will touch people unless these can be disinfected between visitors.
If you’re planning common activities for children
  • Try to do activities outside as much as possible.
  • Ensure that the children and the organisers can maintain physical distancing.
  • Practise good hand hygiene.
  • If you’re doing crafts, plan for each child to have their own tools (for example, scissors, paint brush, glue stick, colouring pencils, markers, carving knife).
  • If craft tools are shared, disinfect them between users.
  • Plan crafts where fewer tools are needed, such as folding papers into flying bats or tissue paper ghosts. There are a lot of ideas online.
  • Avoid common candy bowls.
  • Have individual candy bags for kids.

COVID-19 is most commonly spread from someone who's infected through:

  • respiratory droplets generated when they cough, sneeze, sing or yell;
  • close prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or
  • touching something with the virus on it then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

The risk of COVID-19 transmission increases when:

  • the number of people you‘re in contact with increases; and
  • the time you spend in contact with them lengthens.

Ensure that you’ve read and incorporated the Safe 6 into your planning as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick, even if symptoms are mild.
  • Maintain physical distancing – keep a minimum of 2 metres (6 feet) away from anyone who’s not a member of your social bubble.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • If you become ill while trick-or-treating, or accompanying someone who is trick-or-treating, you should go home immediately.
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items such as handrails, door knobs and door bells.

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins.
  • Bake Halloween treats to share with your family or people in your social bubble. Here are some ideas:
    • pumpkin cookie;
    • haunted house cake;
    • ghost meringues;
    • popcorn balls;
    • monster cupcakes; and
    • ghost cake pops.
  • Have a candy scavenger-hunt style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home (something like an Easter egg hunt).
  • Do a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest.
  • Have an open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 2 metres (6 feet) apart.

  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering when appropriate ‒ consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Trick-or-treat with people within your consistent in-person social bubble.
  • Do not gather on or crowd on a doorstep; wait until the group ahead is gone before going up to a door.
  • Keep interactions brief with people giving out treats.
  • Avoid ringing door bells or knocking on doors to limit contact with high-touch surfaces and objects.
  • Consider using a costume prop to gently “knock” on the door (for example, a broom or sword).
  • Do not sing or shout for your treats because this creates more droplets.
  • Only trick-or-treat at places that clearly signal that they’re participating. Signs of participation include seeing a porch light on, a lit jack-o-lantern or decorations.
  • Only trick-or-treat at places where you feel comfortable in the preventive measures being taken.
  • Clean your hands often, especially:
    • before and after handling your non-medical mask or face covering;
    • after touching frequently touched surfaces;
    • when you arrive home from trick-or-treating; and
    • before and after handling or eating treats.

  • Clearly indicate that you’re welcoming trick-or-treaters by:
    • turning a porch light on;
    • lighting a Jack-o-lantern; or
    • putting up Halloween decorations on your property.
  • Do not have any direct physical contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Clean and disinfect common touch areas such as handrails, doorbells and doorknobs frequently while distributing candy.
  • Think creatively about how to use tools to distribute candy at a distance such as:
    • using barbecue tongs;
    • using a hockey stick;
    • standing on your porch while sending candy down a large PVC tube to trick-or-treaters below; or
    • directing trick-or-treaters to your clothes line that has small bags of candy attached with clothes pins;
    • prepare individually wrapped goodie bags and line them up along your driveway or on the lawn for families to grab and go so they do not need to come to the front door.
  • Do not leave treats in a communal bucket for children to grab because this creates common touch points.
  • Distribute only wrapped, store-bought treats.
  • If you prepare goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Have only 1 household member hand out candy.
  • Practise frequent hand hygiene while handing out Halloween treats.
  • Consider wearing a non-medical mask where 2 metres (6 feet) of physical distance cannot be maintained.
  • Do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats.
  • Do not use gloves to hand out treats ‒we do not recommend you wear these.
  • Consider placing tape markers every 2 metres (6 feet) between doorways and sidewalks or driveways to promote physical distancing.

  • Plan a 1-way traffic flow to promote physical distancing (for example, enter through 1 door and exit through another).
  • Use markings or dividers and visual cues in common areas to ensure that people can maintain physical distancing.
  • Use a non-medical mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable.
  • Avoid the need for people to touch any surfaces with their hands.
  • If screaming will likely occur, 4 metres (12 feet) of physical distancing is recommended. Screaming creates greater amounts of droplets than speaking does.
  • Do not use props that will touch people unless these can be disinfected between visitors.

  • Try to do activities outside as much as possible.
  • Ensure that the children and the organisers can maintain physical distancing.
  • Practise good hand hygiene.
  • If you’re doing crafts, plan for each child to have their own tools (for example, scissors, paint brush, glue stick, colouring pencils, markers, carving knife).
  • If craft tools are shared, disinfect them between users.
  • Plan crafts where fewer tools are needed, such as folding papers into flying bats or tissue paper ghosts. There are a lot of ideas online.
  • Avoid common candy bowls.
  • Have individual candy bags for kids.