Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has had unique impacts across country, every community in Canada is going to have a different approach to celebrating Halloween. Now more than ever, it’s important that parents and Halloween lovers alike find creative ways to celebrate the season while staying safe. FHCP and RCC have come up with some fun ideas to help ensure the Halloween spirit remains alive for families, while still adhering to public health recommendations including physical distancing and the avoidance of large groups.
- Showcase Halloween craft projects on your porch and in your front windows for your neighbours to enjoy.
- Drop treats on your neighbour’s doorsteps, ring the bell, and run away! Make sure to include a spooky note letting your neighbour know they’re from you.
- Set up a piñata at home filled with your favourite Halloween treats.
- Set up a treat hunt around your home; goodies can be hidden in secret spots, or use bedroom, and closet doors as trick-or-treat stations.
- Have fun with decorations – the inside and outside of your home can be in the Halloween spirit all month long.
- Craft a countdown calendar – pick a fun Halloween activity to do each day or each weekend in October leading up to the big day.
- Organize and hold a socially distanced costume parade with a few of your neighbours and keep the treats at home to enjoy afterwards.
- Host a virtual party – set up video chats with friends and family members who can’t celebrate with you. Encourage children to show off their costumes and talk about their favourite treats.
There’s no need to cancel out the 2020 Halloween season even if your plans include staying home. Ensuring a memorable Halloween just calls for some creativity and, of course, treats.
Several provincial governments have announced guidelines for Halloween celebrations. RCC has compiled links to these guidelines where available.
Federal: Halloween celebrations will vary depending on the spread of COVID-19 in the area. Local public health authorities will make recommendations and decisions around Halloween festivities, including limitations or cancellation. People should only participate in traditional trick-or-treating activities if their local public health authority allows it.
British Columbia: Those celebrating are encouraged to try including a non-medical mask or face covering as part of their costume and reminded to wash hands or use hand sanitizer often, particularly before going out, after getting home, and before eating treats. Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to stick to small social groups of less than six and remain in local neighborhoods. Those handing out treats are encourage to give out sealed, pre-packaged treats and to wear a non-medical mask that covers their nose and mouth, standing outside to hand out treats if possible. Any props that cause coughing, such as smoke machines, are discouraged. View guidelines.
Alberta: Guidelines include selecting costumes that allow for mask wearing, distributing candy outside if weather allows, and taking a number of precautions that support physical distancing, good hand hygiene and frequently cleaning of high touch areas. View guidelines
Saskatchewan: Physical distancing and proper hand hygiene are emphasized for both children and homes distributing candy. Distributing store-bought candy only is encouraged as well as disinfecting or letting candy sit for 72 hours before being consumed. View guidelines
Manitoba: Guidelines include focusing on the existing COVID-19 fundamentals including staying home if you’re sick, washing/sanitizing your hands frequently, and practicing physical distancing. Where possible, provide individual contactless candy distribution. Individuals who feel unwell should not take part in trick-or-treating. Use tools (e.g. tongs) to distribute candy at a distance. Be aware of local Pandemic Response System levels and consider alternatives to trick or treating as appropriate. View guidelines
Ontario: Halloween celebrations will vary depending the area. Some local health authorities including Ottawa, Peel, Toronto, York Region and any who may be in Stage 2 have advised against traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating and the government is instead asking people to find alternate ways of celebrating. Areas in Stage 3 can proceed with trick or treating if families choose to do so. Families are asked to not travel outside of their neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween. View guidelines
Quebec: Trick-or-treating is permitted, but children should stay with those in their household only and must stay within their own neighbourhood. Individuals should not enter others homes and should refrain from singing or shouting. Those handing out treats should prepare individual bags and place them where children can serve themselves without coming within two meters of those offering treats. Treats should be quarantined for a period of 24 hours once collected before consuming. For any areas in the red zone, any indoor or outdoor gathering is prohibited. Additional guidelines include maintaining physical distancing, washing hands and using hand sanitizer. View guidelines (in French only)
Nova Scotia: Guidelines include physical distancing, adhering to gathering limits and wearing masks in indoor public places. If planning to go trick-or-treating, only go with people in your household or circle, maintain distance from other groups and do not go if you are feeling unwell. View guidelines
New Brunswick: Within the guidelines, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene are emphasized for both children and homes distributing candy. It is recommended that trick-or-treaters not wear a Halloween mask so as to be able to wear a community face mask. View guidelines
PEI: Within the guidelines, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene are emphasized for both children and homes distributing candy. Trick-or-treaters should only visit households in their neighbourhood and people they know. No contact treat pick-up options are recommended. People handing out treats should wear a non-medical mask. View guidelines
Nfld and Lab: Within the guidelines, physical distancing and proper hand hygiene are emphasized for both children and homes distributing candy. It is recommended that treats be wrapped in individual bags and dropped into each Trick or Treater’s Halloween bag. Parents should consider quarantining their child’s Halloween treats for at least a few hours following Trick or Treating. View guidelines
Nunavut: Nunavut has not yet published a Halloween guidance document.
Northwest Territories: NWT has not yet published a Halloween guidance document.
Yukon: Yukon has not yet published a Halloween guidance document.