COVID-safe Halloween: Here's where you can go trick-or-treating in eastern Ontario and western Quebec
OTTAWA -- Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to stay home in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, while ghosts and goblins have the green light to go door-to-door in some towns and cities across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
CTV News Ottawa looks at COVID-19 guidance for Halloween in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
Ottawa – Trick-or-treating not recommended
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches is recommending children and parents not go trick-or-treating this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Twitter, Ottawa Public Health posted a video of Dr. Etches being asked why kids can't go out on Halloween.
"Right now, there's still too much COVID-19 in our community. So going door-to-door would be considered a high-risk activity," said Dr. Etches.
Eastern Ontario Health Unit – Trick-or-treating not recommended
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is "strongly recommending" no trick-or-treating for residents in Alexandria, Cornwall, Casselman, Clarence-Rockland, the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, Hawkesbury and all areas of eastern Ontario.
"Going out trick-or-treating or handing out treats increases your family's risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 because it exposes you to many other people," said the health unit.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit also recommends cancelling traditional organized community/municipal Halloween events where many people gather.
Casselman announced all Halloween events are cancelled.
Gatineau – Trick-or-treating allowed
The City of Gatineau announced the traditional Halloween hunt for treats would go ahead on Oct. 31.
The city and Gatineau Police recommend children stay in their neighbourhood and walk with members of their own household only.
You are urged not to enter other people's homes and children should not sing or shout at people giving out treats.
Upon returning home from trick-or-treating, all treats should be quarantined for at least 24 hours. Children and parents could get contaminated by eating them sooner.
Brockville – Trick or Treating allowed
Brockville Mayor Jason Baker says trick-or-treating is permitted under guidance from the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.
When it comes to door-to-door trick-or-treating, residents are urged to only go with members of their own household, take extra precautions and follow public health advice.
Almonte, Gananoque, Kemptville, Perth, Prescott and Smiths Falls – Trick-or-Treating allowed
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit offers tips to safely go out on Halloween.
The health unit does say, "It is also critical that families not travel outside of their community to celebrate Halloween."
Tips to safely trick-or-treat include:
- Only go out with members of your household; only trick or treat outside;
- Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab;
- Both trick-or-treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering;
- Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting. Avoid high-touch surfaces and objects;
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer, whether collecting or handing out treats.
Kingston-area – Trick-or-Treating allowed
The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington's health unit says trick-or-treating is allowed in its region, including in Kingston and Napanee.
The health unit encouraged participants to take the following precautions:
- Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household.
- Stay home if you are feeling ill and do not hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.
- Only go out with members of your household.
- Do not go into homes to collect treats - stay outside.
- Both children trick or treating and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe.
- Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting.
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces and objects (e.g., doorbells, railings, etc.).
- Whether collecting or handing out treats, wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer.
- Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab and consider using tongs or other similar tools to hand out treats.
- Drive safely - children may cross the street without checking for oncoming traffic.
Arnprior, Renfrew, Pembroke, Petawawa and Renfrew County – Trick-or-Treating allowed
The Renfrew County and District Health Unit says ghosts and goblins can head out on Halloween night for trick-or-treating.