Québec is taking a provincial approach to the big question of if Halloween trick-or-treating can still go ahead on October 31.
On October 15, Premier François Legault, Minister of Health and Social Services, Christian Dubé, and National Director of Public Health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, announced that the tradition of going door-to-door in costume for candy can still go ahead, but in a different way from previous years.
House-to-house candy collection activities will be authorized, provided certain instructions are followed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Legault said that there are three conditions trick-or-treaters, their parents, and householders should follow. Children must travel only in the company of members of their household, children should collect the candies and sweets placed in a place two metres from the occupants of the household they are visiting, and under no circumstances should children enter homes where they do not live.
Other directives include that people with symptoms of COVID-19 or who are in isolation should not participate, the places trick-or-treaters visit should be limited to the neighborhood surrounding their homes, and municipalities are invited to direct traffic on sidewalks to ensure people keep moving.
People must always respect the distance of two metres from each other, wear a face covering and refrain from singing or shouting in front of other people. Hand washing is recommended before departure and upon return home.
No Halloween parties or private gatherings will be tolerated. Legault said that this year, Halloween is for kids who go door to door.
Arruda said the risks associated with Halloween are considered low, due to the fact that children are walking around outdoors for a relatively short period of time, ranging from one to three hours. The most serious risk regarding Halloween for adults, is private gatherings involving the consumption of alcohol.
In Québec, gatherings are already subject to a ban in regions at the maximum alert level (red), while they must be limited to six people in regions at the orange alert level, and to 10 people in early warning regions (yellow).
The Premier said that a certain plateau seems to have been reached in the number of cases of COVID-19 across Québec but it is very likely that certain measures announced in recent weeks will be extended beyond October 28, depending on the evolution of the epidemiological situation.
Legault said, however, that he intends to do everything he can, with instructions from public health authorities, so that young people can resume sports activities, and that everyone can enjoy the holiday season when it arrives.
“What we also want to protect is Christmas. I wish we could see our families and friends during the holidays! “