Cuomo says he won’t ban trick-or-treating during the Halloween of COVID-19

Door-to-door residential trick-or-treating may go on in New York as planned, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sept. 15, 2020. (Reuters)

Halloween might be the rare holiday in New York that isn’t completely ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic this year.

Governor Andrew Cuomo offered some hope about All Hallows Eve during a Tuesday interview with News 12 Long Island, in which he indicated he would not ban door-to-door trick-or-treating.

“I don’t think that’s appropriate,” Cuomo said when asked if he would ban trick-or-treating out of an abundance of caution during the pandemic. “You have neighbors – if you want to go knock on your neighbor’s door, God bless you, and I’m not going to tell you not to.”

That appears to be a reprieve for the many young, costumed ghouls and goblins across New York who take to the streets every Oct. 31 in search of sweet treats. The governor, however, did not rule out offering some guidelines on safe trick-or-treating as Halloween approaches.

“If you want to go for a walk with your child through the neighborhood, I’m not gonna tell you you can’t take your child to the neighborhood,” Cuomo said. “I’m not going to do that. I’ll give you my advice and guidance and then you will make a decision what you do that night.”

Halloween already took a hit in New York earlier this month when the organizers of the Village Halloween Parade announced the march would not go on as planned in Manhattan on Oct. 31. It’s the first time the parade has been canceled since the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Large-scale, indoor Halloween parties are likely to remain off-limits as well due to ongoing capacity restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since the crisis began on March 1, COVID-19 sickened more than 230,000 New York City residents, killing more than 20,000 of them. The communicability of the virus, combined with capacity restrictions imposed to stop the spread, led to cancellations of major holiday gatherings in the city — including public parades and festivals.