PISCATAWAY, NJ – Halloween trick-or-treating is fast approaching and Piscataway officials are encouraging residents to follow safety guidelines posted by the New Jersey Department of Health to help everyone who celebrates the annual tradition amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For all activities, social distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitizing, and gathering limits should be observed.

“In communities across our state, Halloween is more than just a fun activity, but a community and family tradition,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “This guidance offers the appropriate public health and safety protocols to ensure that everyone has the chance to enjoy Halloween in a safe and responsible manner.”

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Groups trick-or-treating should be limited to current household members, stay local, and limit the number of homes visited. Trick-or-treaters should wear a face mask: costume masks are not a substitute. If and when trick-or-treating with non-household members, individuals should social distance. 

The guidance also provides several options for handing out treats, noting the best option is to arrange individually packaged candy to avoid having trick-or-treaters dip into a shared bowl. Candy should be commercially packaged and non-perishable.  

“The Health Department annually recommends Halloween safety tips such as carrying glow sticks or flashlights while trick-or-treating and having parents check the candy. However, this year is different than any other year,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “The Health Department’s guidance provides steps parents and communities can take to ensure safe and responsible trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities.”

The guidance also notes that indoor or outdoor Halloween parties are subject to gathering limits. Anyone hosting a haunted house should consider staggered start times and an outdoor location.

Socially distant Halloween activities that would require minimal or no additional health and safety protocols could include virtual activities such as online costume parties, driving through neighborhoods with Halloween displays, or Halloween-themed movie nights with family.

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