News & Politics

DC Government to Kids: No Trick-or-Treating As Usual This October

A set of guidelines for Halloween and Día de los Muertos suggests pandemic-era alternatives.

Photograph by leekris via iStock.
Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

Washingtonian is keeping you up to date on the coronavirus around DC.

We told you candy chutes were going to be a thing this year.

Ahead of fall celebrations like Halloween and Día de los Muertos, the DC government has released a set of guidelines outlining ways residents can celebrate safely amidst the pandemic. (This comes after the Centers for Disease Control designated traditions like trick-or-treating as high-risk.)

The local has designated several activities as high-risk, and they include many seasonal favorites: Indoor haunted houses, trick-or-treating and “trunk-or-treating,” bobbing for apples, hayrides with strangers, communal candy bowls, indoor parties, and attending Día de los Muertos festivities at crowded cemeteries.

Instead, it encourages celebrations such as decorating your house or an in-home altar, making masks, going on driving tours of Halloween decorations, and online gatherings or costume contests (just make sure to upload a pic to social using #HalloweenDC).

While DC says socially distanced trick-or-treating is a medium-risk activity, it suggests utilizing tools like a candy chute if you’re going to partake. Also good practices: don’t let kids grab candy from a bowl (use sanitized tongs if you’re personally distributing), don’t take any homemade treats, and run a sanitizing wipe over candy wrappers before allowing eating them.

Of course, gatherings of over 50 people are still prohibited, and people should social distance and regularly wash or sanitize their hands. And no, the DC government says—a Halloween mask is not the same as wearing a surgical mask.

Not on the list? City regulations regarding sexy coronavirus costumes.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.