Trick-or-Treating OK’d in Illinois But Haunted Houses Get a “No”
Before Illinois tries to put an ax to countless locally owned and operated bars and restaurants, they've finally clarified Halloween specifics. While some cities and towns already announced their plans for Halloween, specifically trick-or-treating, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has released "guidelines" for residents to follow. Yes, it still involves face masks and hand washing.
Let's start with pre-Halloween festivities like haunted houses. The plan of opening a walk-through/indoor haunted house in Illinois by following whatever guidelines is dead on arrival. Simply put, haunted houses in Illinois are not allowed. However, IDPH shared some alternative suggestions that aren't terrible.
Instead consider open-air, one-way haunted forests or haunted walks where social distancing of 6 feet or greater and appropriate masking is enforced. If screaming is anticipated, even greater social distancing is advised to lower the risk of spreading respiratory viruses.
For orchards, pumpkin patches, and hayrides, have your family masked up. Illinois Department of Public Health recommends sporting those masks when you're around anyone who does not live in your home. More importantly, hayrides have been given the green light.
Hayrides should not exceed 50% capacity with parties spaced at least six feet apart. Best practice is for hayrides to be limited to members of the same household.
Fall festivals, social gatherings, and Halloween parties are a no-no. But what about trick-or-treating? That is fine, per Illinois public health officials but with some recommendations.
- Leave individually placed candy, spaced apart so they're not touching, on a table at least six feet from your door.
- Wear a face mask and wear a face mask under your Halloween mask if possible. If not possible, throw away the costume mask. I'm not being facetious either, IDPH used those exact words.
- Only trick-or-treat with household family members.
- Wash hands before eating the Halloween candy.
- Although frowned upon, IDPH says if you're going to trick-or-treat indoors make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
You can read all the recommendations and trick-or-treating alternatives here.