LA County walks back trick-or-treating ban


LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — The biggest county in the country rolled back Halloween guidelines less than one day after they banned trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities.

Los Angeles County issued guidelines Wednesday morning that banned trick-or-treating along with other Halloween activities like haunted houses, parties or parades. The county cited the inability to practice safe social distancing.

The county moved door to door trick-or-treating from “not permitted” to the “not recommended.” “Trunk-or-treating” events where children go from car to car instead of door to door also moved into the not recommended category.

The county is still not allowing Halloween parties, carnivals, haunted houses or festivals.

The restrictions are set by the department to help residents reduce their risk of COVID-19.

According to the department, as of Sept. 8, LA County had a total of 249,241 positive COVID-19 cases and 6,036 deaths NewsNation affiliate KTLA reported.

Here’s an updated list of Halloween regulations in LA County:

Not permitted:
• Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors.
• Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment and haunted house attractions are not allowed.

Not recommended:
• Door to door trick or treating is not recommended because it can be very difficult to maintain proper
social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure that everyone answering or coming to the
door is appropriately masked to prevent disease spread, and because sharing food is risky.
• “Trunk or treating” where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats is also
not recommended, particularly when part of Halloween events, since it is difficult to avoid crowding
and sharing food.

Permitted and recommended by LA County:
• Online parties/contests (e.g. costume or pumpkin carving)
• Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle based parades including:
– Drive by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive by
“judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
– Drive through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area
with Halloween displays.
– Drive in events where individuals can receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged
non-perishable treats) or take away item from an organizer while the participants remain in
their vehicle.
• Halloween movie nights at drive in theaters (must comply with the public health drive in movie
theater guidance).
• Halloween themed meals at outdoor restaurants (must comply with the restaurant protocol).
• Halloween themed art installations at an outdoor museum (must comply with the public health
museum guidance.)
• Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations.

Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood have all canceled their annual Halloween celebrations.

“Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives,” stated the news release.

LA County is one of the first to implement holiday restrictions. It is unclear if other cities will adopt this policy during the holiday season.

Editor’s note: this story has been updated to reflect the latest guidelines issued by L.A. County.

NewsNation affiliate KTLA contributed to this report.

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