Traditional Halloween not recommended in Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York Region

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, issued a statement on Monday indicating that “traditional door-to-door trick or treating is not recommended” in cities in modified Stage 2 restrictions – Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York Region.

In the statement, Dr. Williams states this is due to the “high transmission” of COVID-19 in these areas. At a press conference, the chief medical officer of health reiterated that it’s the level of community transmission that requires “extra caution” in these regions.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health recommends “alternative” ways to celebrate Halloween in these regions, which include:

  • Encouraging kids to dress up and participate in virtual activities and parties
  • Organizing a Halloween candy hunt with people living in their own household
  • Carving pumpkins
  • Having a movie night or sharing scary stories
  • Decorating front lawns

“It is recommended that you also check with your local municipality or public health unit for any additional advice or restrictions that may be in place,” the statement reads. “It is also critical that families not travel outside of their neighbourhood to celebrate Halloween.”

At a press conference on Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he is not “cancelling” Halloween in these areas but “just don’t go trick-or-treating.”

“I hate doing this, Halloween is important to the kids,” Ford said. “I’m just following the health advice…Toronto doesn’t want it, Peel doesn’t it, York doesn’t want it, Ottawa doesn’t want it.”

“If we did let people go out and all of a sudden numbers spiked up, guess what, you’d be blaming this guy saying ‘why would you ever let those kids go out door-to-door and their were seniors answering the doors, have you lost your mind.’”

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