News & Politics

These Are the DC Government’s Dos and Don’ts for a Safe Pandemic Halloween

Was anyone really planning to bob for apples this year?

A candy chute in Northern Virginia. Photograph by Jenny Rosenberg.

Celebrations for Halloween and Día de los Muertos kick off this weekend and the DC government has released a set of guidelines to keep the holidays more safe than spooky. Similar to last year’s recommendations, the guidelines show a preference for outdoor activities and small gatherings that allow for social distancing. Although vaccines are widely available in the DC-area, many of the holiday revelers are under 12 and ineligible for inoculation against Covid.

The city has deemed a number of activities high risk including indoor haunted houses, hayrides with strangers, and bobbing for apples (ew, and is that even still a thing anymore?). Instead, the government is advocating for open-air haunted forests and al fresco costume parades, as well as candy chutes that keep trick-or-treats at a distance.

Similarly, the guidelines for Día de los Muertos also call for intimate, outdoor activities. Rather than gathering inside or at crowded gravesites, the government suggests preparing dishes at home to honor deceased family members and visiting cemeteries with social distancing in mind.

As for costumes? Sorry, but if you’re planning to don a costume mask, the disguise doesn’t count as a medical face covering. Swap Ghostface facades for a holiday-themed mask to keep safe and aligned with DC’s ongoing mask mandate—it’s what the sexy Dr. Fauci costume would want.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in NoMa.