NEWS

Fauci Says Trick-or-Treating Is a Go This Year

Kids trick-or-treating with face masks.

Alex Dos Diaz / Verywell

Key Takeaways

  • This Halloween, health experts are saying that children can go trick-or-treating in small groups—with a few caveats.
  • Kids should wear masks and stay out of large groups.
  • Being outdoors is a safer way to spend the holiday than attending crowded indoor parties.

Children everywhere can rejoice: Halloween festivities are officially back.

Traditionally, the holiday allows for kids of all ages to dress up in their favorite spooky costume and shout "trick-or-treat" before they snag some candy. But last year during the pandemic, children were advised to stay at home and avoid trick-or-treating altogether.

Now, U.S. public health officials say that children can safely go trick-or-treating this Halloween—with some caveats.

Thankfully, the percentage of those infected with COVID-19 is declining, which makes this return to celebrating possible.

"I think that, particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it," Anthony Fauci, MD , director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, told CNN when asked about Halloween festivities.

He acknowledged that Halloween is an important time in a child’s life that they should be able to participate in safely. Still, he advises that people avoid large gatherings and social distance.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, echoes what Fauci suggests, and approves going trick-or-treating over Halloween. She advises you to avoid large crowds, get vaccinated, and stay outdoors. 

“I wouldn't necessarily go to a crowded Halloween party, but I think that we should be able to let our kids go trick-or-treating in small groups,” Walensky shared with CBS on "Face the Nation." 

Still, parents need to be aware of some guidelines they should follow to help keep their kids and communities safe.

What This Means For You

If you are taking your child trick-or-treating, make sure they wear a mask and stay out of crowded groups. They should wash their hands before they eat any of their candy.

How to Trick-or-Treat Safely

Unlike Halloweens of the past, there are a few tips that people should follow in order to ensure COVID-19 safety.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, people should stick with outdoor trick-or-treating in small groups. You should try to keep large groups of children from gathering at your doorstep.

If you're planning on passing out treats, sitting outside instead of allowing children to congregate on your doorstep can help prevent that close contact. 

If your child is attending an indoor Halloween party, be sure everyone wears face masks and observes safe physical distancing. 

And finally, when children get home with their candy, they should wash their hands before eating any snacks from their hauls.

Walensky adds that those who are eligible should get vaccinated for COVID-19—that includes parents and children over 12. For those adults who can get a booster, you should do that ahead of the holiday, too. 

As long as families keep these practical tips in mind, children can enjoy collecting candy and other treats to their heart's content on October 31.

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.

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2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review.

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Halloween and COVID-19. Updated October 9, 2021.