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 haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

CoronavirusHalloween

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

A pedestrian passes by an offsales sandwich board along Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse on Oct. 22. NDP MLA Liz Hanson raised concerns Oct. 21 in the legislature about increased hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption that correlate with an extension in the hours alcohol can be sold in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alcohol-related hospitalizations rise after off-sales hours extended

Reduced hours for off-sale liquor establishments likely part of Liquor Act spring reforms

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys) speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. The Yukon government has announced $2.8 million in tourism relief funding aimed at businesses in the accommodation sector that have already maxed out existing funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tourism relief funding offers $2.8 million to hotels and overnight accommodations

$15 million in relief funding is planned for the tourism sector over the next three years

The Whitehorse sewage lagoons photographed in 2011. With new regulations for wastewater anticipated to be introduced by the federal government within the next decade, the City of Whitehorse may soon be doing some prep work by looking at exactly what type of pollutants are making their way into the city’s wastewater. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Pondering pollutants

City could spend $70,000 looking at what contaminents are in waste water

Most of Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 graduates. The former students were welcomed back and honoured by staff at the school on Oct. 14 with a personalized grad ceremony for each graduate. (Submitted)
Individual Learning Centre grads honoured

Members of the Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 were welcomed… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

asdf
COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Evan Lafreniere races downhill during the U Kon Echelon Halloweeny Cross-Country Race on Oct. 16. (Inara Barker/Submitted)
Costumed bike race marks end of season

The U Kon Echelon Bike Club hosted its final race of the… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Most Read