Halloween in Hamilton: Here are some guidelines for celebrating safely


Published October 20, 2020 at 4:38 pm

As of Monday (Oct. 19), Hamilton is cleared to celebrate Halloween traditionally but with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Premier Doug Ford urged families in Ontario’s four COVID-19 hot spots, on Monday, to avoid trick-or-treating this Halloween. This includes Toronto, Peel, Ottawa, and York.

Ford warned, however, that regions where the number of cases continues to climb, Hamilton and Halton included, could face further restrictions and will be watched carefully in the ensuing days.

At Monday’s virtual COVID-19 media update, Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who in recent days assured residents there would be no ‘cancelling’ Halloween, shed some light on Hamilton’s recommendations for a safe celebration, which are in line with the Province’s guidelines.

He reiterated that the City of Hamilton is officially encouraging residents to stay home and celebrate Halloween in different ways this year, and offered several suggestions, including holding virtual Halloween parties, or quick, physically distanced visits, among others.

He also asked Hamiltonians to avoid attending parties and gatherings with others who live outside your household to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In a press release issued following Monday’s update, the City shared the following guidelines for those intending to trick-or-treat and hand out candy:

Handing out Halloween treats

  • Wear a non-medical mask that fully covers your nose, mouth and chin.
  • Set up a trick or treating station outside, using a table to place treats on to maintain distancing.
  • Portion treats out ahead of time to prevent contact & use tongs to hand out. Do not leave out self-serve bowls of bulk candy.
  • If you hand out treats indoors, place a sign on your door asking trick-or-treaters to knock instead of ringing the doorbell.
  • Wash or sanitize hands frequently.
  • Stay 2 metres away from trick-or-treaters.
  • Build a candy slide, candy catapult or other fun, non-touch delivery methods.


  • Minimize contact with others: trick-or-treat only with those who you live with and stay two metres apart from all others.
  • Only trick-or-treat outside.
  • Wash hands before eating candy.
  • Choose a costume that allows a non-medical mask to be worn underneath and that allows you to easily wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands before and after trick or treating and bring hand sanitizer with you.
  • Avoid touching doorbells or railings, knock instead of using doorbells, use hand sanitizer after touching surfaces.
  • Line up 2 metres apart if waiting for treats.
  • Outline a plan with older children who are trick-or-treating on their own, including how to avoid situations such as crowded doorsteps or joining with other groups and talking about the number of homes they can visit.
  • Remember the usual Halloween safety tips – dress for the weather, wear reflectors, watch for traffic, and check treats before eating

For more information on the City of Hamilton’s guidelines and ideas for celebrations, check out their website.

— with a file from The Canadian Press

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