MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Halloween is expected to look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Monterey County Health Department has released guidelines to make sure residents stay safe over the holiday and prevent the spread of the virus.
Gatherings and events or parties are not allowed under local and state health orders, so the same restrictions apply on Halloween.
The county said Halloween gatherings, events or parties with people who are not members of the same household are not allowed. They do make an exception if the party is made up of your social circle of 12 people are fewer, are conducted outdoors and comply with social circle guidance.
The county said trick-or-treating is not recommended this year because it could be difficult to keep social distance on porches ad at front doors. People may also come to the door unmasked. Another concern is that trick-or-treating involves touching high contact surfaces, such as doorbells and candy bowls.
Trunk-or-treating, which involves participants going from car to car instead of door to door, is not recommended either because the county said it is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food.
The types of events that are encouraged are those that allow for social distance and avoiding contact between people from different households.
Some of the permitted and encouraged events include online parties or contests, car parades, drive-in movies, meals at outdoor restaurants, outdoor art installations and decorating homes and yards.
Because the virus can spread between people even without symptoms, the county is asking everyone to avoid contact with people from different households, wear face coverings, practice hand hygiene and stay home when sick.