Be Covid Careful this Halloween

Manitobans continue to have a significant role to play in working together to support public health measures and reduce the spread of COVID-19. This information is intended to update the public on how to enjoy Halloween while reducing the potential spread of COVID-19.

This guidance is intended for individuals.

General Information for Halloween

Manitobans are also strongly encouraged to focus on the fundamentals to help stop the spread of COVID-19. While children less than 12 years of age are not yet eligible for vaccination, there are some additional measures suggested below to reduce their risk of exposure, while still enjoying Halloween activities.  This includes:

  • Staying home if you’re sick, even if your symptoms are only mild.
  • Washing/sanitizing your hands frequently.
  • Covering your cough.
  • Practicing physical distancing when you are with people outside of your household.
  • Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces is required by public health orders, and recommended outdoors where you cannot physically distance.
  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine at a location near you.

Trick-or-Treating and Halloween Activities

  • Household members who feel unwell should not take part. Use the COVID-19 screening tool or the COVID-19 screening questions before participating in activities.
    • If you start to feel unwell when out, return home as soon as you can.
  • Be aware of local Pandemic Response System levels and consider alternatives to trick or treating as appropriate to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.

Physical Distancing

  •  Trick-or-treat with a small group only. Limit to household members or a few close friends you normally have social interactions with.
  • Avoid crowded indoor parties. Follow current gathering size limits.
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from people outside of your group. Take turns and wait until any group ahead is gone.
  • Decorate your household and yard for distance viewing.

Masking

  • Wear a non-medical mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable, including outdoors.  
    • Consider incorporating a non-medical mask into your costume (while making sure your eyes are unobstructed for safety). Don’t sew anything onto the mask. Poking holes can make the mask ineffective.
    • However, having a costume mask on top of a non-medical mask may not be safe.
    • Wear a non-medical mask to distribute candy.
    • Remember, children under the age of two should not wear a non-medical mask. Click here for more information on proper masks use.

Hand Hygiene

  • Follow proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette including:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Scrub for at least 15 seconds.
    • Use a Health Canada-approved alcohol based hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and handwashing is not possible. Carry it with you while trick-or-treating and use it along the way.
    • Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes, and then wash/ sanitize your hands after.

Treat Distribution

  • Where possible, provide individual contactless candy distribution. Use tools (e.g. tongs) to distribute candy at a distance, or a candy chute.
  • Provide individual bags and avoid self-service such as a common candy bowl
  • Supervise, as needed, while maintaining physical distancing
  • Provide wrapped, store bought treats only
  • Indoor or mall-based trick-or-treating is permitted where physical distancing is maintained and shared contact items are minimized or eliminated. Note that changing public health orders and Pandemic Response System may limit or restrict these activities. Check with the site before you make your plans.

Trick-or-Treating Safety

  • Ensure visibility by wearing reflective or bright costumes, flashing lights, or reflective tape.
  • Use flame-resistant fabrics and ensure costumes fit well to avoid tripping.
  • Supervise younger children and remind them of pedestrian safety. Walk, don’t run. Look both ways before crossing the street and use sidewalks whenever possible.
  • Don’t enter a stranger’s home.
  • Check your child’s bag before they eat anything.
  • Throw away items that are unwrapped, spoiled, or appears suspicious.
  • Avoid items that your child is allergic to.

Other Activities

  • Plan for outdoor activities as much as possible.
  • Considerplanning activities that allow people to continue to maintain physical distancing. Avoid activities where respiratory droplets may be exchanged, such as bobbing for apples.
  • For pumpkin carving and decorating activitiesprovide individual pumpkins and tools,  maintain appropriate physical distancing and adhere to any current gathering size restrictions.
  • Consider a costume parade where physical distancing can be maintained
  • Haunted Houses/Ghost Tours/Corn Mazes/Pumpkin Patches may be permitted, depending on local restrictions under current public health orders and the Pandemic Response System.  However, the following guidelines must be followed:
    • organizers, staff, or attending public must self-screen using the COVID-19 screening tool or the COVID-19 screening questions, and stay home if unwell
    • manage line-ups carefully to ensure physical distancing.
    • consider online bookings with timed arrivals with flexible cancellation policies
    • consider contactless payment
    • all attendees (e.g. staff, volunteers, public, etc.) must wear a non-medical mask indoors and outdoors where physically distancing is unpredictable 
    • follow store/event policy
    • maintain physical distancing (2 metre) when you feel the risk of exposure is high
    • provide enough time and space between tour groups to limit crowding
    • clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces between groups
    • encourage frequent hand hygiene
    • any food or beverage services must follow the appropriate provincial guidelines
    • any other activities within the event venue must follow the appropriate provincial guidelines
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