Guidelines for ‘Safe’ Trick-or-Treating During Coronavirus Outbreak

BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — A Halloween curfew is in place in Belmar and Lake Como — from 8 p.m. through 6 a.m. on three consecutive nights — through Sunday morning. 

Persons under age 18 are not permitted on public streets or public places unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, and except those who are going directly between their home and place of work or school during those hours. It will end at 6 a.m. on Sunday, November 1. 

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On Halloween, trick-or-treaters — in or out of costume — will not be permitted on private property after 8 p.m.

In order to keep the fun in Halloween with an emphasis on safety amid COVID-19, the N.J. Department of Health stresses the importance of social and physical distancing, wearing masks that cover the nose and mouth, and hand hygiene during trick-or-treating. And that includes wearing both a cloth or disposable mask with a costume mask.

In addition, individuals should minimize interaction and contact with others who are not a part of their household, and no one should participate in these activities if they or a household member have a known exposure to COVID-19, are sick or symptomatic, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not yet met the criteria for discontinuing isolation, the state advises.

Here are the state Health Department’s guidelines:

Outdoor Door-to-Door Trick-or-Treating

  • Limit groups to current household members, consider staying local and limit the number of houses on the route.
  • Practice social distancing among all who are not in the same household.
  • For those putting out treats:
    • Good option: Limit interaction or contact with trick-or-treaters, wear a mask when individuals come to the door and regularly wash hands.
    • Better option: Leave a treat bowl on a porch or table or in a place where it may be easily accessed, while adhering to social distancing requirements.
    • Best option: Arrange individually packaged candy so that trick or treaters can grab and go without accessing a shared bowl.
  • Consider coordinating with neighbors to develop a system, such as signs or on/off porch lights, for distinguishing houses participating in trick-or-treating from those who do not wish to participate.
  • Wear a face mask to guard against COVID-19 exposure. Costume masks are not an acceptable substitute but can be supplemented with a cloth or disposable mask. Children under age 2 should not wear a cloth mask.
  • Candy should be commercially packaged and nonperishable. Consider individual nonfood “treats” to avoid sharing of food.
  • Practice hand hygiene (wash hands or use hand sanitizer) before leaving home, after touching objects such as wrapped candy, and when arriving home.

Outdoor Trunk-or-Treating (when children go car to car instead of house to house)

  • Limit the number of participating cars to ensure adequate space for social distancing and minimize crowds. Ensure the outdoor area has sufficient space per car to avoid overcrowding and to allow adequate space for social distancing.
  • Follow the outdoor gatherings limitations in effect at the time.
  • Design the event in a long line, rather than a circle to ensure social and physical distancing to discourage crowding.
  • Consider having assigned times or multiple shifts to minimize crowding during event.
  • Wear a face mask. Costume masks are not an acceptable substitute but can be supplemented with a cloth or disposable mask. Children under age 2 should not wear a cloth mask.
  • Candy should be commercially packaged and nonperishable.
  • Practice hand hygiene before the event, after touching objects such as wrapped candy, and after the event.

 

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