Guidance for Halloween Safety 2021

Health and Safety protocols for Halloween-related activities in the City of St. Louis.


Halloween is a time of wonder and excitement for both children and adults. This chance to enjoy an escape from day-to-day activities may look different this year due to COVID-19, but it can still be possible with preventative measures. Taking some additional steps is necessary to protect your family, friends, and the community at large, especially with children who are too young to be vaccinated.

The best thing that eligible individuals can do to protect their health and the health of their children is to get vaccinated.

Neighborhood Trick or Treating

Parents or guardians who intend to take their child(ren) trick-or-treating need to help protect everyone’s health and safety, especially with children who are too young to be vaccinated. Please follow these guidelines for Halloween-related events.

  1. All trick or treaters and their parents/guardians should be masked indoors and in crowded areas outdoors.
  2. Homeowners can be masked, or they can leave individually wrapped candy or treats at the front of their lawns or driveways.
  3. Once home, children need to wash their hands with soap and water. A parent/guardian should assess the candy to make sure all packages are wrapped, discarding any unwrapped candy.
  4. Children should be encouraged to practice good dental hygiene.
  5. The parent or guardian should practice good dental hygiene as well.
  6. For apartment buildings, events should not occur inside the building.
  7. For areas where homes do not have driveways/lawns, local areas are encouraged to schedule community trick or treating, drive-through or trunk or treating.

Trunk or Treat

Drive-by events may also be an alternative where children dress up and are driven to the event by their parents/guardians, with masking, social distancing and hand hygiene.

In large parking lots, with adherence to social/physical distancing requirements, tables could be pre-set up and children allowed to parade around with parent/guardian while masking at all times. A limited number of persons should staff the event and keep tables replenished and monitor social distancing. Children should wash their hands with soap and water before they are allowed to consume candy.

  1. Recruit a set number of cars.
  2. Create a timed entry schedule to determine your attendance limit.
  3. Create a map of where cars will be with plenty of space between.
  4. Advertise with information about reserved time slots, social distancing and mask-wearing.
  5. Package candies or little favors in treat bags for easy distribution.
  6. Create signage to direct the flow of traffic.
  7. Draw markers on the ground to keep social distancing.
  8. Mask Up and Enjoy

Things You Need for a Trunk or Treat Event During COVID

  1. Social Distancing Signage and Directional Arrows or sidewalk chalk.
  2. Individually wrapped treats.
  3. Prepackaged goodie bags to distribute treats or trinkets.
  4. Disposable masks.
  5. Sanitization stations.
  6. Trunk or Treat car decorations.

Other Types of Halloween Events During COVID

  1. Virtual Halloween parties, giving children the opportunity to show costumes off to family and friends while socially distancing.
  2. Hayrides or tractor rides. Limit the number of riders to 10 or less (at a time). Riders must adhere to local restrictions for face coverings and social/physical distancing. Organizers shall limit the time customers linger in the area around the hayrides to 30 minutes.
  3. Halloween scavenger hunts, where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance.
  4. Recreation Center events. On October 28 and 29, the City of St. Louis Parks, Recreation and Forestry Division will hold Halloween-themed events this week at six City recreation centers.

Types of Events NOT Encouraged During COVID

  1. Large indoor parties, including neighborhood or family gatherings.
  2. Large indoor school events; in-person schools may consider small classroom parties without parent and volunteer involvement.
  3. Gatherings in residential halls, sorority/fraternity houses, or in indoor common areas on college campuses.
  4. Traveling to rural fall festivals where COVID-19 mitigation measures are not enforced.

After the Celebrations

If you participated in high-risk activities or think you may have become exposed:

  1. People who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested to check for infection:
    • Fully vaccinated people should be tested 5–7 days after their last exposure.
    • People who are not fully vaccinated should get tested immediately when they find out they are a close contact. If their test result is negative, they should get tested again 5–7 days after their last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.
    • Know when to quarantine.

Health Department Halloween Safety Video

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