Halloween, like seemingly every aspect of daily life, will be different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. There are no legal restrictions on trick-or-treating Oct. 31, but towns are adopting guidelines to facilitate safety and respect for neighbors during the spooky holiday.
In Brick, township officials this week suggested a “lights on, lights off” policy for trick-or-treaters and homeowners to communicate their desire to meet. The same policy has gained traction in communities across the country.
“This system is very simple – if a light is on, that house is participating,” said Mayor John Ducey. “If the light is off, they are not, and continue to the next home.”
The system will give homeowners who are not comfortable with trick-or-treating during the health crisis a convenient way to respectfully notify people they are not participating.
“It is understandable that some people may choose to not participate in trick-or-treating this year due to concerns about the pandemic,” said Ducey. “Similarly, some people are going to welcome trick-or-treaters. Everyone’s decision is personal and should be respected.”
Brick has no established time for trick-or-treating, however the mayor asked participants to be considerate of neighbors. The township also issued some general tips to follow to ensure Halloween is safe in 2020.
- No one should participate in any 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 have not yet met the criteria for discontinuing isolation.
- Trick-or-treaters should limit their groups to current household members and should practice social distancing
- Wear a face mask. Costume masks are not acceptable substitutes for cloth or disposable masks.
- For people giving out treats, wear a mask when trick-or-treaters come to door and regularly wash and sanitize hands.
- Consider leaving a bowl of treats on the porch or a table where it can be accessed while adhering to social distancing requirements or arrange individually packaged candy so that trick-or-treaters can grab and go without using a shared bowl.