SASKATOON -- With Halloween just over a month away, the  province has released a series of COVID-19 guidelines for trick-or-treaters, as well as haunted house and pumpkin patch operators to follow.

For trick-or-treating, people handing out candy to neighbourhood ghouls and goblins should consider using tools such as tongs to distribute it at a distance.

That's just one of 13 restrictions on neighbourhood trick-or-treating.

In addition, alternatives to trick-or-treating may be considered, such as costume or photo viewing from windows, decorating households and yards for viewing from afar, or a costume parade where physical distancing can be maintained.

Other guidelines include:

  • Two metres distance must be maintained between individuals who are not in the same household/extended household at all times.
  • No direct physical contact should occur between trick-or-treaters and people distributing Halloween treats.
  • Trick-or-treaters must maintain distance between other groups when approaching homes. For houses or neighbourhoods anticipating a high volume of trick-or-treaters, people distributing candy are encouraged to place tape markers every two metres between doorways and sidewalks/driveways to promote physical distancing.
  • Due to the number of people potentially touching the treats prior to being handed out, consider cleaning candy wrappers with disinfectant wipes or holding the treats for 72 hours before consuming.
  • Only wrapped, store-bought treats should be distributed.
  • Common touch areas should be frequently cleaned and disinfected while distributing candy.
  • Trick-or-treaters should practise frequent hand hygiene by carrying portable hand sanitizer.
  • People distributing candy should practise frequent hand hygiene while handing out Halloween treats.
  • Trick-or-treaters should consider incorporating masks into their costumes, while ensuring their eyes are not covered for safety reasons.
  • Individuals handing out candy should consider wearing masks where two metres of physical distance cannot be maintained.
  • Where possible, only one household member should hand out candy.

Haunted houses, another Halloween tradition, will be permitteed to operate with COVID-19 precatuions in place.

At Saskatchewan's haunted houses, mask use will not be mandatory. Instead, masks are considered an additional measure participants can consider when physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable, according to the guidelines released Friday.

Other haunted house guidelines include:

  • Organizers must implement one-way traffic flow to promote physical distancing.
  • Use markings or dividers and visual cues in common areas to ensure physical distancing between non-household/extended household members.
  • Ensure frequent hand hygiene is available for everyone before, during and after visiting the haunted house.
  • Expand cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces.
  • Walk-though times between groups must be a minimum of 10 minutes apart to avoid congestion in the haunted house.

The Government of Saskatchewan has also laid out a series of guidelines for the province's pumpkin patches, including:

  • Limit entry to the pumpkin patch to allow for physical distancing of two metres between individuals and family groups. Block off areas to control access.
  • Minimize the number of entrances and exits to control the number of participants.
  • Manage lineups into the pumpkin patch to meet physical distancing requirements of two metres between people not from the same household or extended household.
  • Direct traffic flow through the patch using chalk or tape markings on the ground, ropes, barriers or other markers as required.
  • Where possible, implement one-direction traffic flow to promote physical distancing.
  • Ensure frequent hand hygiene is available for everyone before, during and after pumpkin picking with hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number).
  • If photo stations are available, two metres of physical distancing must be maintained between household groups lining up to take photographs.
  • The photo station must be disinfected between each group being photographed.