Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday unveiled Halloween guidelines for children and adults that include allowances for socially distanced trick-or-treating and a ban on indoor haunted houses.
Trick-or-treating will be sanctioned by the city, with several restrictions. All participants must wear masks and face coverings and groups of children should be limited to six trick-or-treaters or fewer.
Children should wait until they get home and wash their hands before enjoying their haul, the mayor said.
Mayor Lightfoot also told participants: "Keep it moving, folks."
The mayor’s announcement comes as her administration has relaxed some COVID-related restrictions at bars and restaurants and other businesses, as economically struggling Chicago attempts to reopen during the pandemic.
The eight guidelines, as explained by Chicago Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, are:
--Everyone must wear masks or face coverings; that includes trick-or-treaters and people who are distributing candy.
--Homes offering candy should keep a light on or put a sign in the window to signal they are doing safe trick-or-treating.
--Groups of children should stay socially distant and have hand sanitizer.
--Trick-or-treaters should keep moving. "Less congregating means more houses," Arwady said.
--Candy should not be touched until children get home and wash their hands.
--No haunted house attractions will be allowed within Chicago, because of the potential to spread coronavirus.
--Individual groups of trick-or-treaters should be limited to six, preferably children in the same social "bubble."
--No house parties, large or small.
Illinois state public health officials earlier this week offered guidelines for Halloween activities. They discouraged trick-or-treating, but Lightfoot said that's not realistic.
Illinois officials said no one should hold an indoor haunted house, but outdoor versions are okay, with social distancing.