Less than a day after issuing new health guidelines that banned trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities, Los Angeles County public health officials recalled their decision to ban trick or treating this Halloween, amid a public outcry.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health had initially announced that trick-or-treating would be banned due to the difficulties in maintaining ‘proper social distancing on porches and at front doors’, especially in neighbourhoods that are popular with trick or treaters.
Following a number of complaints and push-back from the community, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer has since announced that the guidelines (which can be seen here) have been ‘slightly revised’.
The amendment means that the activities which were originally prohibited under the health officer order are now categorised as ‘not recommended’.
“This year, it’s just not safe to celebrate in the ways we usually do,” she said. “We are recommending that trick-or-treating not happen this year.”
Other Halloween traditions, including ‘trunk or treating’, house or garden parties, haunted house attractions and all other forms of live entertainment, remain banned, with officials declaring that there was a need to ‘identify safer alternatives’.
However, L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said that: “even a pandemic can’t cancel Halloween.”
“In fact, it’s the only day of the year we were expected to wear masks before this crisis started,” she said. “Be safe, practice physical distancing and get creative about how you celebrate with your kids this year.”