UPDATE, 1:34 PM: Devil’s Night is back on in the City of Angels, kind of.
Less than a day after Los Angeles County Department of Public Health essentially shut down Halloween over the risk posed by the still strong coronavirus pandemic, they’ve put on a new costume. In a press briefing that is still going on, LACPD Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the guidelines have now been “revised.”
Previously not allowed, door to door trick or treating and the car to car “Trunk or treating” are now only not recommended by the county. Even as COVID-19 remains a serious concern in the Southland, the sudden shift comes as many parents and business’ went apoplectic with outrage over the prospect of keeping little ones indoors on October 31.
Having said that, in accordance with overall social restrictions and even though most attendees will likely be wearing masks, “Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors.” As well, “carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed” either.
PREVIOUSLY, 11:02 AM: There is no official word yet on the fate of big Thanksgiving family dinners, but Halloween is definitely shuttered this year in Los Angeles because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“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 especially in neighborhoods that are popular with trick or treaters,” the L.A. County Department of Public Health said in guidance released close to the witching hour Tuesday night (read it here).
Additionally, for now, “‘trunk or treating’ events where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats are also not allowed,” the public health department said. “Gatherings or Parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors,” LACPH add. “Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed.”
Even with cases of COVID-19 declining in the hard-hit region of late, the official door-shutting on October 31 festivities comes as no big surprise, even though it’s almost two months away.
While Griffith Park’s Haunted Hayride still lives for now as a drive-up experience to be watched on a 40-foot screen, other local annual events like Epic Entertainment’s The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor in Long Beach and Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Hunt declared earlier this summer that they would be dark because of the virus. And of course, the still-closed Universal Studios made clear in July that its sprawling and well-attended Halloween Horror Nights won’t be taking place at either its West Coast or Florida theme parks.
“Universal Studios Hollywood continues to face ongoing business restrictions and uncertainty around its opening timeframe,” the Comcast-owned company said earlier this summer of the still-closed L.A. park. “Universal Orlando Resort will be focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place.”
While kids knocking on doors and families visiting theme parks and immersive experiences isn’t on this year, “dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations” will be allowed by Los Angeles County. Also, “online parties,” public health-complying “Halloween movie nights at drive in theaters,” “Halloween themed meals at outdoor restaurants,” “Halloween themed art installations at an outdoor museum” and “car parades” are still OK as of this morning.
As of 8 p.m. PT on September 7, LA County has 439 new cases of COVID-19 (including data from Long Beach and Pasadena health departments) for a total of 249,241 confirmed cases since the pandemic began earlier this year. There have been 6,036 deaths in the region in total, with seven new deaths reported September 8.
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