Hampton Roads Cities Offer COVID-19 Guidelines for Halloween

Cities in Hampton Roads have begun issuing Trick-or-Treating Guidelines for 2020 including COVID-19 precautions.

See the full list below thanks to our friends at:

Wishing you a Safe and Secure Halloween!

City of Chesapeake:

In recent years, a City of Chesapeake ordinance from 1970 about trick-or-treating rules became a viral sensation. The fact was, though, that this law had never been enforced; it only existed to give Police an option, should things get out of hand on Halloween. In fact, it was created following a particularly violent Halloween in a neighboring City.

While we appreciate all of the concern and attention we received from around the country last year, we’d like to assure everyone that, in fact, we do NOT arrest teens for trick-or-treating and never have. In 2019, the Chesapeake City Council voted to remove the (never before used) penalty of jail time from the ordinance, and to raise the age limit from 12 to 14. This makes our ordinance one of the least restrictive in the entire Hampton Roads region.

Trick-or-treating in Chesapeake takes place from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on October 31.

The City of Chesapeake wishes everyone a safe, fun, and candy-filled Halloween!


City of Norfolk:

Events that involve large gatherings of individuals (e.g. large Halloween parties, haunted houses, etc) can increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and are not recommended. The more closely people interact with others and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. This means choosing not to participate in standard Halloween activities during the pandemic

Trick-or-treating Recommendations

Trick-or-treating involves increased risk for transmitting COVID-19, due to the potential for close proximity to many people and the difficulty for children trick-or-treaters to follow mask use and social distancing recommendations. If you do choose to trick-or-treat, it is important to protect yourself using the following recommendations:

1. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past ten days, or have been in contact with someone with COVID in the past 14 days, follow VDH guidance to stay home and away from others. If you are self-isolating or self-quarantining, do not participate in trick-or-treating this year, and look for other virtual options to celebrate.

2. Maintain at least six six feet of distance between yourself and others who do not live in your household at all times.

3. Wash your hands before going trick-or-treating or handing out candy. Hand sanitizer should be used while trick-or-treating or handing out candy when soap and water are not available.

4. Wear a cloth mask. Halloween masks may not fit snugly against the face and may not cover the nose and mouth. Halloween masks with gaps and holes do not protect against inhaling respiratory droplets from other people. Cloth masks should be worn under costume masks to keep a close fit over your nose and mouth. Ensure that any cloth mask worn under a costume mask does not inhibit the ability to breathe easily.

5. If you hand out candy, consider setting up an area outside, like a folding table or chairs, to set out candy. Space out the placement of treats so that multiple people do not have to reach into the same bowl or find contactless ways to deliver treats, like a candy chute that is more than six feet long. For trunk-or-treating, create distance between cars by parking in every other space.


City of Newport News:

The City of Newport News advises residents to follow CDC and Virginia Department of Health guidelines for Halloween activities this year in order to limit potential exposure to COVID-19. In keeping with those guidelines, Parks, Recreation & Tourism’s 10th Annual “Spooktacular” event is being modified and has additional locations, and Newport News Public Library is offering two Halloween themed virtual events. 
This year, Spooktacular is a drive-thru trunk-or-treat event taking place on Saturday, October 31. Come by any of the three community centers listed below for a spooky good time and lots of candy. Wear your costumes and trunk-or-treat from the safety of your car! Please remain in your vehicle, and follow the signs for entering and exiting the drive-thru events.  
  • Denbigh Community Center, 15198 Warwick Blvd. from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Brittingham-Midtown Community Center, 570 McLawhorne Dr. from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
  • Doris Miller Community Center, 2814 Wickham Ave. from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  
Newport News Public Library offers numerous virtual events every month including two in October that are Halloween-themed.  
  • Fall Handprint Cards, October 22, 3 p.m. – Join us on Facebook and learn to make autumn and Halloween handprint cards. 
  • Owl-O-Ween Kids\’ Paint Night, October 27, 6 p.m. – Children of all ages can put on their best costume and join us via Zoom as we create a Halloween-inspired masterpiece! Registration is required and begins on October 12. Limited to 40 participants. Program kits/supplies will be provided for registrants to pick up.  
Both the CDC and VDH have deemed traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating a high-risk activity and have issued the following recommendations on other options citizens can take part in to celebrate the holiday. For those who choose to trick-or-treat, the Newport News City Code specifies that trick-or-treating is for children 12 years of age and younger and ends at 8 p.m. 

Guidelines for Trick or Treating in Portsmouth

The Portsmouth Health Department encourages citizens to review and adhere to CDC guidelines for Halloween to ensure the safety and well-being of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the link for details.

City of Virginia Beach

As a reminder, per Virginia Beach City Code, trick-or-treating begins at dusk on October 31 and ends at 8 p.m. and is for children 12 years of age and younger only. 

Monitor halloween2020.org for location-specific information and recommendations. 

Lower the risk: 

If you are passing out candy:  

  • Designate one person to pass out candy instead of having a self-serve bowl; wear a face covering (mask) and gloves.
  • Purchase pre-packaged goodies to distribute instead of making homemade treats.
  • Turn on your porch or other lighting if you are participating in trick-or-treating; if you are not participating, turn off the lighting. Make sure there is a safe path for the children to travel. 

If you are trick-or-treating:

  • Stay close to home and with people you know while staying apart from others. 
  • Use hand sanitizer often.
  • Do not allow your children to consume any candy before you have had a chance to inspect it. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear a face covering even if a costume includes a mask. Make sure you and your child can still see well.  
  • Wear reflective clothing and/or carry lights so you are easily visible in the dark.  
Make everyone’s safety your top priority for a truly happy Halloween. 

City of Williamsburg

The City of Williamsburg is advising citizens to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Health Department (VDH) on how to enjoy a safe Halloween.

The CDC and VDH have categorized possible Halloween activities into three categories: lower risk, moderate risk, and higher risk. The lower risk activities are safest and are recommended by the City.

Both the CDC and VDH categorize traditional trick-or-treating, during which candy is handed to children who go door-to-door, as a high-risk activity. One-way trick-or-treating, during which individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab while adhering to physical distancing guidelines, is categorized as a moderate risk.

Families who choose to trick-or-treat are asked to do so from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31 for children ages 12 and under. Please assume a home is not participating in trick-or-treating if the front porch light is off.