Mayor Walsh offers Halloween guidance: "Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters"

Mayor Martin Walsh and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) today urged residents to celebrate Halloween safely this weekend by avoiding traditional activities, such as trick-or-treating, costume parties, and crowded, confined spaces like haunted houses, which raise the risk of spreading viruses.

"Halloween is one of the best nights, and what's most important this year is that any person participating in activities does so in a way that is safe for not only themselves, but also their neighbors and community," said Mayor Walsh. "We're asking people to take the extra precautions that are necessary this year, including avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters, wearing masks at all times, washing hands before eating any treats, and avoiding attending or hosting gatherings."

The guidance offered tips for safe trick-or-treating, including keeping the activity within the immediate family, setting up stations outdoors with individually wrapped goodie bags, and wearing masks, noting that costume masks are not substitutes for cloth face coverings.

Some risk-free activities encouraged by the BPHC include: carving pumpkins, virtual costume contests, a family Halloween movie night, or a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt at home.

The safety notice concluded with a caution about the risk of viral spread that comes with the territory of fright night.

“Keep in mind, if any Halloween activities may lead to screaming, make sure everyone is wearing a face covering and staying more than six feet apart. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.”

Halloween is on Sat., Oct. 31.