Trick-or-treaters go door-to-door in Riverdale on Halloween in 2015. This year, trick-or-treaters are being encouraged to knock on doors with a witch’s broom or pirate sword, but trick-or-treating is still being permitted this year despite COVID-19. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Halloween trick-or-treating given green light

While COVID-19 might be the scariest thing about October this year, trick-or-treating is still being permitted this Halloween with a number of precautions still being recommended to reduce risk.

“With proper precautions, it’s OK for children to go trick-or-treating. They should wear a non-medical mask or face covering when appropriate, or consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask. They should trick-or-treat with those within their consistent social bubble and not gather on or crowd doorsteps,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley at a press conference on Sept. 30.

“If you are distributing candy to trick-or-treaters consider how you can do it safely,” he said.

Only one person should be handing out candy in a household and only pre-packaged, store-bought goodies should be handed out this year. Households might also consider using a tool like tongs or a hockey stick to distribute candy outside, at a distance.

Hanley also suggested that communal buckets left out should be avoided this year and that costumes could be strategic — a witch’s broom or pirate sword, for example, might be useful for socially-distant door knocking.

For those that remain uncomfortable with the trick-or-treating, Hanley said public health will develop some festive suggestions in order to make sure no children are left out.

“Children have lost so much already as a result of COVID. But with some careful guidance we can make Halloween still happen in Yukon,” he said.

Thanksgiving is another fast-approaching holiday that would normally see large groups gathering to share food. Hanley said groups should be mindful of the existing rules that allow groups of no more than 10 people inside at a time.

“Some people are planning outdoor gatherings to accommodate larger family groups or even serving dinner in shifts,” he said. “These are some of the actions that you can take to reduce the risk of yourself and your household and your guests while still enjoying all of these things and the festivities.”

Precautions for singing and musical performances are also being reevaluated under the pandemic rules.

Singers and musicians should keep a minimum of two metres apart, not facing each other while playing and any audiences should be located either four metres away or behind Plexiglas. Good ventilation and shorter rehearsals are also being recommended.

“There’s always that chance if we see an increase in the number of cases that we may have to put restrictions back in place,” Hanley said.

The Yukon government also said changes are coming at the Alaska Highway and Highway 37 borders. Beginning Oct. 1 the enforcement officers will transition from a 24-hour schedule to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Travellers arriving outside those hours will still be required to sign a self-declaration at a kiosk.

“If you intentionally provide incorrect information or do not stop and declare yourself as required, it is considered an offence under CEMA and individuals will be charged,” said Community Services Minister John Streicker.

On Sept. 29 a woman was charged with a failure to provide a declaration and failure to self-isolate. There have been a total of 12 people charged, and 17 total charges laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act.

Contact Haley Ritchie at


Just Posted

The Fireweed Market in Shipyards Park will open on May 13. Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Whitehorse’s Fireweed Market opens May 13

The Fireweed Market will return with ‘exciting’ new and returning vendors

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

A rally was held outside of legislature to condemn the inappropriate texts messages of Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.


Wyatt’s World for May 12, 2021.… Continue reading

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley announced youth vaccination clinics planned for this summer. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon government file)
Vaccination campaign planned for Yukon youth age 12 and up

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for younger people on May 5.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced two new cases of COVID-19 on May 11. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two new cases of COVID-19 reported, one in the Yukon and one Outside

One person is self-isolating, the other will remain Outside until non-infectious

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

The deceased man, found in Lake LaBerge in 2016, had on three layers of clothing, Dakato work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt. Photo courtesy Yukon RCMP
RCMP, Coroner’s Office seek public assistance in identifying a deceased man

The Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and the Yukon Coroner’s Office are looking for public help to identify a man who was found dead in Lake LaBerge in May 2016.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Most Read