Pursuant to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s guidance, issued in partnership with the New York State Department of Health, Halloween celebrations must be conducted safely, in accordance with specific sanitary and social distancing guidance.
Governor Cuomo asks that families enjoy virtual or socially distanced activities, and refrain from engaging in traditional Halloween activities like trick-or-treating where treats are handed out door to door and where communities cannot stay socially distanced.
For those who choose to give out treats in a more traditional capacity, treats must be given outdoors to avoid direct contact. New Yorkers are directed to:
1) Outdoor Stations: set up an outdoor space with individually bagged or packaged treats for kids to take. Participate in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard).
It is best to take candy only if it is individually wrapped in a sealed wrapper or baggy, and is available to grab and go placed separately from other candies, so kids can easily pick up their treats without touching candy another child will take (e.g., no bowls).
If setting a grab and go station, set it six feet from your front door, which will allow trick or treaters to feel comfortable to approach, knowing they will not be in close contact with anyone at the location.
2) Masks: All individuals over age two (2) and able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear face coverings or cloth masks. Most Halloween masks won’t be sufficient to meet Department of Health guidance, so ensure you wear a face covering that provides adequate protection. See if you can incorporate your face covering into a costume, but remember, a face covering must always be made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
As always, remember to sanitize and wash your hands, maintain six (6) feet of social distance, and trick-or-treat with only your family household. Happy Halloween!
Learn more about New York’s health and safety guidance by visiting our COVID-19 resource page, or by contacting the legal professionals at HoganWillig, PLLC at (716) 636-7600.