SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Trick or treating is back in the City of Springfield after advising residents to cancel going door-to door in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Sarno, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton Harris and the Board of Public Health announced Wednesday that following a review of the City of Springfield’s COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates, families can celebrate Halloween and trick or treating by following recommended guidelines in order to maintain safety.

There is a citywide mask mandate until November 1st in any indoor public setting, or outdoors when you can’t social distance. City officials say a costume mask is not a substitute for a face mask to protect against coronavirus.

According to the news release, the City of Springfield is making this announcement as early as possible to give families and organizations proper time and notice to plan for safe and fun Halloween events.

Below are the recommendations and guidelines from the City of Springfield’s Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Strongly encourages everyone to keep wearing their masks and face coverings. (A costume mask is not a substitute.)
  • Avoid confined spaces, large gatherings and maintain social distancing.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often. (Parents, please supervise your children using hand sanitizer. Wash your hands when you get home with soap and water before you eat any treats.)
  • Clean frequently touched items regularly.
  • For houses participating and handing out candy, do not allow trick or treaters to grab treats from the bowl or bag.  You should be handing out treats and putting them into their bags or buckets.
  • If possible, have individually bagged treats to give out to kids.
  • If possible, hand out and give treats outdoors and not by your door. (This will help reduce gatherings in confined spaces – doorways, porches, steps, etc.)
  • If you are sick, or been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.

“We want everyone to have a fun but yet safe Halloween experience. We have all worked so hard throughout this COVID-19 pandemic but we must remain vigilant if we are to defeat this virus. Although our vaccination rates continue to steadily improve, we still have a long way to go, especially with vaccinated our younger population. We must be smart and safe in order to continue to build public, consumer, and business confidence. If everyone follows these simple but yet proven and effective precautions, we can all enjoy a fun and safe Halloween.” said Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris.

COVID-19 cases and vaccination rates will continue to be monitored by the City of Springfield and will provide additional guidelines and recommendations in the future.