COVID-19 causes Halloween restrictions in San Diego


Photo by Avery Huffer

Trick-or-treating is practically a staple when it comes to celebrating Halloween, but it appears as though it will not be a reality for many people this year. On Monday, Sept. 28 San Diego County put out a list of guidelines on their website, advising not to participate in trick-or-treating, as well as Halloween carnivals, parties, haunted houses and live entertainment because of the danger posed by large gatherings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think Halloween is not cancelled because people are still going to dress up and it is a very big holiday. I do not think people should out trick or treating, or throw any parties because it is unwise to do so. If people do want to go out then they should wear a mask and stay six feet apart from others,” Giovanna Morales (12) said.
Some residents have argued against the stringent regulations placed by San Diego and Los Angeles, claiming that there could still be ways to enjoy the same Halloween events and trick-or-treat while still maintaining social distance. But county public health officials say it is too risky.
“People should avoid crowded areas for their own safety and for others. I think it’s still worth dressing up and hanging out with family or the people in your house but it is not worth going outside and getting infected or infecting others,” Morales (12) said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health had released their list of rules for celebrating Halloween prior to San Diego doing so, following a similar set of rules to those of San Diego County’s. Halloween activities that have been cancelled include all in-person gatherings and events and parties where there would be non-household members. Halloween carnivals and other public festivities are not permitted due to the difficulties of enforcing social distancing.
“My thoughts are that Halloween is going to be cancelled because of the pandemic. The families who want to celebrate Halloween with their children can make a small haunted house in their backyard or they can have a movie night with their costumes on Halloween night. Buying a costume to trick-or-treat is probably not worth it. Buying the supplies is not worth it because they are not going to have the usual fun on Halloween,” Shelly Gaspar (12) said.
Despite all of the restrictions put in place, Halloween can still be celebrated and enjoyed by people who look forward to it. If children are not able to go out in their costumes to trick-or-treat, they can still have an abundance of fun at home with some creativity.
“We still have to be aware of everyone’s health and safety, but I think we can still celebrate within our guidelines. Outdoor parties with a few friends or trick-or-treating around your neighborhood while maintaining social distance are good options for those that still want to celebrate,” Hannah Price (11) said.
San Diego’s guidelines for celebrating Halloween this year can be read on the county’s website.