You don’t have to be a kid to love Halloween. Dressing up, carving pumpkins and eating candy is great fun at any age. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, and Halloween is no exception.
While we value our longstanding Halloween traditions, this year it’s important to put safety first. The good news is there are many ways to stay safe without sacrificing a moment of fun.
Here’s a guide to Halloween safety for revelers of all ages. And, fortunately, we don’t have to give up the most important part of Halloween – the candy.
The Halloween & Costume Association has created a website with a dashboard showing COVID-19 risk levels for every county in the U.S. There you will find a color-coded chart with appropriate activities based on the risk factors where you live.
The site is filled with inspiring ideas to make this Halloween fun and safe for kids and grown-ups across the country. Families can make a Halloween piñata or hold a karaoke contest or indoor scavenger hunt. Those who want to celebrate with people outside their household may consider a Zoom party complete with games, scary stories and Halloween movie classics.
While Michigan does not have laws pertaining specifically to Halloween, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a set of guidelines for the holiday. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also published recommendations on celebrating Halloween safely. Here are some of their dos and don’ts for a safe Halloween.
This year, the City of Detroit is sponsoring drive-up candy stations at various police and fire stations across the city between 5:00 – 8:00p.m. on Oct. 31. Click here to find a list of participating locations as well as other Halloween safety tips.
And, regardless of where you live, the most recent order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services prohibits indoor gatherings of more than 10 people.
Halloween is a somewhat unconventional holiday, so it’s only fitting there are some offbeat laws regarding its observance. Here are a few:
Most trick-or-treaters avoid visiting houses that don’t have their porch lights on. However, in the village of Forsyth, Illinois, approaching a “dark house” is actually against the law. While the statute is seldom enforced, parents of witches and ghosts who violate this rule could have to pay a fine as high as $750.
Originally intended to prevent Ku Klux Klan members from wearing hoods during public rallies, a 1951 Georgia law made it a misdemeanor to wear face coverings that “conceal the identity of the wearer.” That law stayed on the books until April 13, 2020, when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order allowing Georgians to legally wear masks in accordance with CDC guidelines for COVID-19.
After city workers complained about cleaning up copious quantities of Silly String from the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, the city passed a law banning it from public places from 12:00 a.m. Oct. 31 until noon on Nov. 1. Those in possession of any aerosol string products may be subject to a fine of $1,000.
In Alabama, it’s a misdemeanor to pretend to be a religious representative, although it’s unclear whether authorities would enforce this law on trick-or-treaters.
If Halloween falls on a Sunday, children in this Delaware coastal town must trick-or-treat the night before. Halloween still occurs on its scheduled date; it is only the act of going door-to-door on Sunday that is prohibited.
We hope you have a safe, fun Halloween from everyone at The Sam Bernstein Law Firm.
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