COVID-safe Halloween: Here's where you can go trick-or-treating in eastern Ontario and western Quebec

Trick-or-treaters are encouraged to stay home in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, while ghosts and goblins have the green light to go door-to-door in some towns and cities across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

CTV News Ottawa looks at COVID-19 guidance for Halloween in Ottawa, eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

Ottawa – Trick-or-treating not recommended

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches is recommending children and parents not go trick-or-treating this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Twitter, Ottawa Public Health posted a video of Dr. Etches being asked why kids can't go out on Halloween.

"Right now, there's still too much COVID-19 in our community. So going door-to-door would be considered a high-risk activity," said Dr. Etches.

We know #Halloween is a special time of year. This year we are asking you to make memories in a different way and avoiding trick or treating. Check out Dr @VeraEtches #HalloWise ideas to help limit the spread of #Covid19 in our community. For more info: https://t.co/KSfL1EiMM2 pic.twitter.com/q2E0Q8cNqZ

— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) October 28, 2020

Eastern Ontario Health Unit – Trick-or-treating not recommended

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is "strongly recommending" no trick-or-treating for residents in Alexandria, Cornwall, Casselman, Clarence-Rockland, the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, Hawkesbury and all areas of eastern Ontario.

"Going out trick-or-treating or handing out treats increases your family's risk of getting or spreading COVID-19 because it exposes you to many other people," said the health unit.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit also recommends cancelling traditional organized community/municipal Halloween events where many people gather.

Casselman announced all Halloween events are cancelled.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble

Gatherings, big or small, are the perfect ingredient for COVID-19. Do not attend or host any Halloween parties with individuals outside of your household. Find other ways to celebrate: https://t.co/1uTFOy9Db6 pic.twitter.com/j7Z7bhZ7Eg

— EOHU Public Health (@EOHU_tweet) October 24, 2020

Gatineau – Trick-or-treating allowed

The City of Gatineau announced the traditional Halloween hunt for treats would go ahead on Oct. 31.

The city and Gatineau Police recommend children stay in their neighbourhood and walk with members of their own household only.

You are urged not to enter other people's homes and children should not sing or shout at people giving out treats.

Upon returning home from trick-or-treating, all treats should be quarantined for at least 24 hours. Children and parents could get contaminated by eating them sooner.

������ La traditionnelle collecte de bonbons de l'Halloween aura lieu samedi à #Gatineau. Nos policiers seront présents, mais ne remettront pas d’objets lumineux aux enfants pour minimiser les contacts, #COVID oblige. La santé et la sécurité priment!

➡️ https://t.co/A7wgn14dFA

— PoliceGatineau (@PoliceGatineau) October 27, 2020

Brockville – Trick or Treating allowed

Brockville Mayor Jason Baker says trick-or-treating is permitted under guidance from the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.

When it comes to door-to-door trick-or-treating, residents are urged to only go with members of their own household, take extra precautions and follow public health advice.  

Halloween is a fun and spooky time of year for kids. Be sure to be #COVIDsmart. If you don't wish to participate, keep outside lights off and decorations hidden. If you do, check out these easy safety tips. https://t.co/YwwITXGWZd #XBR pic.twitter.com/Aa9DK18CHv

— City of Brockville (@BrockvilleON) October 27, 2020

Almonte, Gananoque, Kemptville, Perth, Prescott and Smiths Falls – Trick-or-Treating allowed

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit offers tips to safely go out on Halloween.

The health unit does say, "It is also critical that families not travel outside of their community to celebrate Halloween."

Tips to safely trick-or-treat include:

  • Only go out with members of your household; only trick or treat outside;
  • Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab;
  • Both trick-or-treaters and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering;
  • Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting. Avoid high-touch surfaces and objects;
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer, whether collecting or handing out treats.

Different can still be fun! Check out this media release for #COVIDSmart tips on how to safely participate in Halloween, Remembrance Day and other fall activities. Hint… #StayCloseToHome #WearAMask #WashYourHands https://t.co/cQmjnSiMfC pic.twitter.com/A8kxKkvBdd

— LGL Health Unit (@LGLHealthUnit) October 27, 2020

Kingston-area – Trick-or-Treating allowed

The Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington's health unit says trick-or-treating is allowed in its region, including in Kingston and Napanee.

The health unit encouraged participants to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid gatherings with people outside of your household.
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill and do not hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.
  • Only go out with members of your household.
  • Do not go into homes to collect treats - stay outside.
  • Both children trick or treating and people handing out candy should wear a face covering. A costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering and should not be worn over a face covering as it may make it difficult to breathe.
  • Do not congregate or linger at doorsteps and remember to line up two metres apart if waiting.
  • Avoid touching high-touch surfaces and objects (e.g., doorbells, railings, etc.).
  • Whether collecting or handing out treats, wash your hands often and thoroughly, or use hand sanitizer.
  • Do not leave treats in a bucket or bowl for children to grab and consider using tongs or other similar tools to hand out treats.
  • Drive safely - children may cross the street without checking for oncoming traffic.

Dr. Moore explains how can we enjoy Halloween safely this year. https://t.co/x1v4htgYOy #AskTheMOH #COVID19KFLA pic.twitter.com/qS16DncYJG

— MOH@kflaph.ca (@MOHKFLA) October 23, 2020

Arnprior, Renfrew, Pembroke, Petawawa and Renfrew County – Trick-or-Treating allowed

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit says ghosts and goblins can head out on Halloween night for trick-or-treating.

It's almost Halloween! Trick-or-treating looks different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so please ensure you are celebrating safely by following public health guidelines. ����������‍⬛��☠️�� pic.twitter.com/yD5lYvUCP8

— County of Renfrew (@RenfrewCounty) October 27, 2020