If 2020 were a person, it would be the butt of people’s bloodthirsty rage. Ugh! With the novel Coronavirus still lurking in the streets, all our yearly traditions seem to have met an unwanted halt. With everyone basically asking each other the same dreaded question – Have the Halloween celebrations of 2020 been officially canceled?! Here’s everything you need to know about having a safe yet fun Halloween this year.

We wonder if the answer can be found by asking ourselves the bigger question. Do I wish to put myself or my family in danger’s way? Regardless, the CDC has some strong recommendations (a nicer way to say rules) that we all can greatly benefit from, and hey – the alternatives are not so bad:

Lower risk activities for 2020’s Halloween celebrations

These lower-risk activities can be safe alternatives:

Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends!
Decorating your house, apartment, or living space.
Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt 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.
A virtual Halloween costume contest!
Conducting a Halloween movie night with people you live with.
Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house.

Moderate risk activities for 2020’s Halloween celebrations

These moderate-risk activities can be safe alternatives:

One-way trick-or-treating!

Here 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)

If you are preparing goodie bags

If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.

Small groups work!

Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart.

What about costume parties?

Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart, is also a great option, especially if you have kids!

Costume masks are not the same as protective masks.

A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

Be careful with doubling up on masks too.

Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

Planning a screamer?

If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

Pumpkin patches!

Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing.

Outdoor movie night? Definitely yes!

Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart is yet another great option for those of you wishing to not miss out on the spooks. All while having a safe Halloween!

A cookout, as per the CDC.

Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Higher risk activities for 2020’s Halloween celebrations

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Source: Centers For Disease Control & Prevention, US

Here are some of the places where Halloween events are changing or cancelled. You can also find more about your city using AARP’s master guide to state-by-state crowd restrictions.

How can I have a safe yet fun Halloween in 2020?

Thankfully, by following all precautions and following the CDC guidelines above, we can greatly reduce the risks associated with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Just for this year, we could drop the door-to-door trick or treating to keep ourselves and the communities safe.

Instead of throwing big Halloween parties, see if you could celebrate with a spooky dinner with your close friends or family – make sure this aligns with the city you’re staying in, so you’re able to have a safe Halloween before anything else. And also check if the members have traveled internationally/domestically or are under quarantine. Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, the doorbell, or any other surface that is being touched by strangers/kids. Always wear a face mask & maintain the social distancing norms.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers find safe alternatives to their Halloween celebrations? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!