SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Door-to-door trick-or-treating will not be allowed in Springfield this Halloween due to the pandemic.
City officials explained that the decision came in consultation between Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and the city's Health and Human Services Director Helen Caulton-Harris.
While door-to-door trick-or-treating will not be allowed, certain other events would be allowed so long as proper health and safety protocols are followed.
Sarno explained in a statement:
“We have all worked so hard to continue to defeat this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic by currently being designated a ‘green zone’, we just don’t want to go backwards. We must continue to be smart and safe in order to continue to build public, consumer, and business confidence.”
The following activities are not allowed:
- Door-to-door trick or treating is not allowed because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors.
The following activities are not recommended:
- “Trick or treating” events where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats are not recommended
- Gatherings or Parties with non-household members are not recommended even if they are conducted outdoors.
- Carnivals, festivals, live entertainments, and haunted house attractions are not recommended.
City officials noted that the following activities would be permitted:
- Online parties/contest (e.g. costumes or pumpkin carving).
- Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle based parades.
- Drive by events or contest where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive by “judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
- Drive through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays.
- Drive in events where individuals receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged non-perishable treats) or take away item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle.
The city noted that no matter how you mark Halloween, important personal protection measures should be followed, including:
- Wear a cloth face covering when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household.
- Avoid confined spaces - Actively stay away from indoor spaces that do not allow for easy distancing of at least 6 feet between you and others.
- Avoid close contact - Stay at least 6 feet away from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking and singing.
- Wash or sanitize your hands often.
- Clean frequently touched items regularly.
- If you are sick, or you been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.
Some parents said they think canceling trick-or-treating is the right thing to do in Springfield, especially in light of the pandemic. But for others, they think it takes away from the kids.
"Why should they have to pretty much miss out on something that they've been doing for so long?” noted Springfield resident Ciara Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said she thinks a drive-by event is a waste of time.
"To me honestly, it's going to be a waste of gas," she said "Depending on how long that parade ends up being from every other car that's ahead of me. With my younger child, nonverbal, he's going to get very irritable start screaming and crying.”
One Springfield mom understands why kids can’t go around Springfield getting candy from house-to-house and said she's okay with that.
"Whatever we can do to keep the community safe and our kids, I'm okay with that," said Springfield parent Rihanna Wohoward.
As far as her kids celebrating Halloween in an alternative way for Wohoward, she plans to keep things under the radar.
"I think this year I totally would just like to just do something for them at home," she said. "But if the kids do want to go, I can do that.”
The City of Springfield announced its guidelines as early as they could to give people time to prepare for a much different Halloween.