Trick-or-treating in New Jersey won’t be scuttled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Phil Murphy said the Halloween tradition was “still on” in the Garden State as of Wednesday, although those who plan to don costumes should expect to see changes come later this month, NJ.com reports.
“As far as this moment in time, Halloween’s still on in New Jersey,” Murphy told the website following an unrelated event Wednesday in Paterson.
But Murphy acknowledged it wouldn’t be a “normal” holiday like in previous years, referencing increased safety procedures yet to be put in place.
“We’re gonna have to do things very carefully,” Murphy said. “I’m sure we’re gonna have protocols that we’ll come to. And God willing, the virus stays under control.”
Murphy did not elaborate on those potential safety measures, NJ.com reports. A message seeking comment from his press secretary was not immediately returned early Thursday.
Murphy’s comments came as county officials in Los Angeles reversed its ban on trick-or-treating Wednesday, less than a day after saying the practice was not allowed due to the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
The tradition is now “not recommended” in Los Angeles, as is so-called “trunk-or-treating,” where costumed children go from car to car for treats rather than doorsteps.
The updated guidelines by the Los Angeles County Department of Health still bars any Halloween gatherings or festivals with non-household members — even if they’re held outdoors. Haunted houses and festivals are also banned.
Meanwhile, in New York City, the pandemic has already forced the cancellation of its Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, as well as Hell Kitchen’s “Monster Ball,” the city’s biggest Halloween party.
But the city had yet to make an official announcement on trick-or-treating as of Wednesday.
“We’ll have an announcement on this soon, stay tuned,” a City Hall spokesman told The Post. “Nothing to report today.”
Some parents aren’t waiting for the city, however, and have already banned their youngsters from trick-or-treating amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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