Los Angeles Bans Halloween Trick-or-Treating Over Coronavirus Fears

Public health authorities are cracking down on a holiday activity where the age group least at risk of COVID-19 walks around outside wearing masks.


There are few things scarier than an overreaching government. Perhaps to get into the holiday spirit then, Los Angeles has decided to ban trick-or-treating this year.

Late Tuesday, news broke of public health guidelines issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) that ban door-to-door trick-or-treating, Halloween parties where non-members of a household will be present, and haunted houses.

The order, dated from last week, nevertheless allows for online Halloween parties (fun!), drive-in scary movie nights, and Halloween-themed car parades. The county's new guidelines also graciously permit people to still decorate their homes and yards.

"Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives," reads the text of the order.

Health officials told The Los Angeles Times that trick-or-treating, in particular, was not going to be allowed "because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors."

Violation of the county's Public Health Officer order, which was last updated on September 4, is punishable by both fines and imprisonment.

It's not clear whether those penalties apply to violations of the new Halloween guidelines, or how the county intends to enforce its prohibition on trick-or-treating. Reason requested clarification from LADPH, and will update with any response we receive.

Halloween stoked panic among public health authorities and the general public long before coronavirus. That includes the regular fears about drug- and razor-laced candies, offensive costumes, and sex offenders out on the prowl.

The LAPHD has historically issued warnings about the high-sugar content of Halloween candies, alongside gentle reminders that participating households can hand out plenty of other fun things besides sweets.

Even in a time of rampant public health restrictions, Los Angeles' crackdown on Halloween seems unnecessarily restrictive. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a pre-pandemic activity more suited to the requirements of social distancing than trick-or-treating.

The activity occurs outside, where we know the risk of coronavirus transmission is much lower. Everyone is already wearing masks. Curbside pickup, whereby a bowl of candy and maybe a note asking trick-or-treaters to take only one piece, is already a common practice.

On top of that, children, the primary trick-or-treating participants, are at the lowest risk of developing serious COVID-19 symptoms, although they can still spread the disease.

Plenty of people who are at higher risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 might not want disease vectors showing up at their doorstep. Fortunately, the accepted Halloween tradition of leaving your porch light off if you don't want to be bothered on that night can help those people too.

Recommending best practices for trick-or-treating seems like a more proportional approach to the transmission risk that Halloween poses. Instead, the county is embracing the most authoritarian possible response to the holiday. Spooky.

Update: On Wednesday afternoon Los Angeles County public health officials reversed course on their trick-or-treat ban, saying instead that the activity was "not recommended."

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  1. Ban Holloween. Ensure that Trump wins California.

    1. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that any level of government bullshittery will turn CA red ever again.

      Especially since they’re just going to blame Republicans anyways, even when they literally have zero power in the state.

      1. Why should they switch? I just today saw a post from a Californian and he (she? xir?) says they’re just fine. So, things are great there, right out of the horses’ ass. Mouth?

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      2. Newsom is giving it his best shot.

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      3. Republicans still have about 25% of the seats in the legislature. That is blocking the Democrats from passing the necessary legislation to fix the state.

    2. Are they going to ban Dia de los Muertos, too?

  2. You can always go as a slutty racial justice protester.

    1. But you have to make sure you say you are a Portland protester to avoid being accused of appropriation. Or, in your case, saying you are from Philly will do.

      1. Your standards are lower than mine.

      2. He can get you that easily?

    2. Slutty costumes are always great, but…….. yuck.

  3. Los Angeles would have done this anyway, the pandemic was just the excuse. Without the virus it would have been due to cultural appropriation, or excess sugar, or fear of Trump masks, or something.

    1. But it is good training for future mostly peaceful protestors. Go door to door demanding free stuff, wearing masks, and threatening vandalism if people don’t cough up the loot.

      1. Nailed it.

  4. Proving once again that it’s not about the coronavirus, it’s about the abuse of power. And we all know power is a far more addictive and far more dangerous substance than sugar, nicotine, heroin, meth or Goldfish crackers.

  5. Fortunately, the accepted Halloween tradition of leaving your porch light off if you don’t want to be bothered on that night can help those people too.

    Unfortunately, Los Angeles will probably soon require all lights to be high-intensity UV, constantly on to kill the virus.

    1. Won’t they have to market them with a label; May Cause Cancer?

      1. In California, Prop 65 warning labels have warning labels.

        1. I don’t live in California, but picked up one of those warning signs for my house in preparation for President Harris.

      2. The “blanket” Prop 65 warning that’s posted at the entry to every retail store where you might buy a light bulb should cover them, but I’m sure the manufacturers already have the warning label pre-designed into the packaging.

        Because of the number and variety of things which the state lists as carcinogenic, there’s virtually nothing that’s bought or sold (or processed, for the John Cusack fans out there) that doesn’t require a warning label under prop 65; because the labels are on almost every item on almost every shelf, and there’s a posted sign at the entrance to every commercial building and parking lot/garage in the state people here just ignore them altogether.

    2. Ummm….pretty soon LA ain’t gonna have no electricity and nobody’s going to have their porch light on.

  6. Public health authorities are cracking down on a holiday activity where the age group least at risk of COVID-19 walks around outside wearing masks.


    Obviously the solution is to go as a slutty BLM protester.

    1. Oops, I see Fist thought along the same lines.

      1. Fisted yet again, Rich.

        1. Story of my life.

          1. Then you should stay away from those slutty BLM protesters. They all about da fist.

  7. Are kids even allowed to wear masks anymore? I thought all of their mommies were too nervous about their little snowflakes not being able to see, that they were only allowed to wear some facepaint, or nothing at all.

    1. “Potentially *flammable* face paint?!”

      1. ^ Feature, not a flaw.

      2. Halloween is the day I learned flammable and inflammable meant the same thing.

        1. When you dressed up as Johnny Human Torch?

    2. All face paint is cultural appropriation from some ethnicity that used to put on face paint centuries ago. And if not, then it’s blackface. Take your pick.

  8. So now what am I going to do with my MAGA costume?

    1. Go to Chicago and have a run in with Jussie?

      1. It would be interesting to see if it’s OK to wear blackface as Jussie just to see how the moral outrage logic shakes out.

        “It’s OK! It’s not really culturally offensive because I’m white.”

        1. It’s not nice to fuck with the easily confused woke.

    2. Just don’t wear it at a peaceful protest

  9. I hear people are giving out candy spiked with COVID.

  10. Fortunately, the accepted Halloween tradition of leaving your porch light off if you don’t want to be bothered on that night can help those people too.

    Especially if they’re running low on TP.

  11. Another reason to abandon democrat ghetto cities and even states run by the left mafia.

    1. We shall flee on to the end. We shall flee in France, we shall flee on the seas and oceans, we shall flee with shrinking confidence and dying strength in the air, we shall abandon our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall flee from the beaches, we shall flee from the landing grounds, we shall flee from the fields and from the streets, we shall flee from the hills; we will surrender…

      Yeah that doesn’t have the same ring to it as the original.

      1. Probably sounds better in the original French.

  12. It’s like they are trying to lose.

    1. And for the next several election cycles. It’s not like there are gonna be a lot of 18-24 yr. olds chomping at the bit to vote for the party that cancelled Easter, spring break, prom, graduation, summer vacation, homecoming, Halloween…

      1. Don’t be too sure of that. I thought (very briefly) that people would get fed up with these restrictions and get pissed enough to vote out the incumbents and vote in the opposition. DUH, of course not. People around here embrace this shit. They live for it. They’ll vote for it even harder. What do you think they’re going to do? Vote for Republicans? No fucking way. They want to kill your grandma and your grandkids.

        1. Yeh, I don’t think you can sway the lockdowners at this stage in the game. They believe it worked just like they think had masks been mandated early, the spread would have stopped. They’re going with that script.

          They’re cultists at this point.

          The false virtue they exhibit runs too deep.

          1. It is not the lockdowners we are trying to sway.

  13. but my nephew wanted to go as Gavin Newsome.

    1. You can make Newsome look like Dracula with that hair. Or The Count.

      What a clown that idiot piece of shit is.

      Oh, I’m not holding back what I think of these incompetent criminals. The whole lot. Politicians to public health.

      1. yes your rants have entertained.

  14. online Halloween parties

    “Broke my fuckin’ nose on the monitor trying to virtually bob for apples…”

  15. Whew, I don’t have to put a bowl with miniature kit kats and sneakers bars outside my door on Halloween this year.

    1. it’s the one day a year I answer the door when I don’t already know who it is

    2. I am sure the sneaker bars would get looted first – – – – – – – – – –

      Great typo!

    3. Sneakers bars? What kind of stinky candy is that?

  16. Ban stupid politicians and let the kids have fun!

    1. Let them play! Let them play!

    2. But then there wouldn’t be any politicians left.

      Never mind, I withdraw my objection, carry on.

      1. Indeed. Stupid politicians is redundant.

  17. Children going door-to-door demanding candy (and threatening minor vandalism if you don’t cough some up) has been banned over COVID-19 concerns.
    But grown children going door-to-door demanding protection money and loyalty oaths (and threatening arson, assault, battery and destruction of property if you don’t comply) is fine, and will not contribute to COVID-19 case or death counts.

    1. Ooooof. Burn. 😀

  18. Keep following the science LA.


    1. Dogmatic Scientism carries the day now.

      1. They hold positions that are totally sciencey.

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  21. The government cannot ban Halloween. The government cannot cancel Christmas.

    These things are not within the governments control.

    No one can stop you from giving out candy to people who want it.

    No one can stop you from taking a walk.

    And no one is going to make you take off your mask.

  22. Banning Halloween may cost the Dems the graveyard vote.

    1. Never. That’s sewn up for eternity.

  23. The obvious work-around is to dress the kiddos as BLM protestors, complete with bricks and Molotov cocktails. LAPD will surely stand down.

    And bonus: threatening to burn down the house yields more candy than would a cutesy bunny rabbit costume.

    1. Oh that’s brilliant

  24. I predicted months ago that WuFlu would be the final nail in the Halloween coffin. The holiday was dying anyways, due to modern American parents being overprotective morons.

    1. Not where I live. 100’s of kids come out. The streets are essentially blocked off. Parents set up drink table for adults. Some people set up haunted houses in their own homes. When the kids are done they count and sort the candy while the grown-ups gather for drinks and laughs. It’s like a real neighborhood or something.

  25. Meh

    Halloween as we knew it was over long ago.

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  27. This just in…

    “Los Angeles. Nov. 1. 8:45 AM

    Los Angeles police report that they have successfully stopped deadly Covid-19 trick-or-treaters from infecting the city, with only 257 injuries and 15 fatalities among the young felons. Gov. Newsom praises their efficiency and restraint.”

  28. But remember rioting and looting are safe and perfectly acceptable.
    Hell! We encourage it!

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  31. The compromise for trick or treating is that only kids in the following costumes will be allowed to go door to door:

    Bubble Boy
    SCUBA diver (with functioning breathing tanks/mask)
    “scientist” from the movie ET
    Bruce WIllis from the beginning of 12 Monkeys
    HAZMAT Cleanup Technician
    Firefighter (full turnout gear with mask and O2 supply only)

  32. They could just “hold a protest”. Put the kids in costumes so as to disguise their identity. Then just walk around the neighborhood protesting the cancellation of Halloween. Be sure to bring a bucket or a bag so children can loot the neighborhood of candy. Happy protesting!

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