City of Cambridge Extends Restrictions on Public Events through December 31, 2020

City reminds public to avoid higher-risk Halloween activities this week

The City of Cambridge announced today that it is extending the current prohibition on City-sponsored community events, events permitted for the use of City parks, or other City-sponsored public gatherings through December 31, 2020. The City has not permitted events or gatherings through its special events process since March 16, 2020 and is continuing this prohibition as part of its overall COVID-19 prevention strategies.

As Halloween approaches, the City reminds the public that, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many traditional Halloween activities can be higher risk for spreading viruses. Residents planning to celebrate Halloween are strongly urged to follow the guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and to engage in only lower or moderate risk activities to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Halloween activities are subject to the current state and City gathering size limits as well as any applicable sector-specific workplace safety standards. Pursuant to the City of Cambridge Temporary Emergency Order Concerning Gatherings in the City of Cambridge, dated October 2, 2020, outdoor gatherings at event venues and public settings are limited to a maximum of 50 persons in a single venue or space, and pursuant to City of Cambridge Temporary Emergency Order Delaying Step 2 of Phase III of Governor Baker’s Reopening Plan in the City of Cambridge, dated October 2, 2020, only businesses and business capacities permitted in Phase III, Step 1 of the Reopening Plan are permitted to operate.

This Halloween, residents are strongly advised to stay home and refrain from Halloween door-to-door activities.

The CDC categorizes Halloween activities into higher, moderate, and lower risk activities. It is recommended to avoid higher-risk activities and consider engaging in only lower to moderate risk alternatives this year.

Lower-risk activities include:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
    Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house 

Moderate-risk activities include:

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go. Tips:
  1. If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.
  2. Leave the goodie bags at the end of your driveway or edge of your yard and consider leaving hand sanitizer next to the treats for children to use.
  3. Families should discourage children from eating candy while trick-or-treating. Once home, have children wash their hands. If you are concerned about coronavirus transmission from candy wrappers, consider "quarantining" Halloween candy for three days. Throw away any candy that is not individually wrapped. 
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart 

Higher-risk activities include:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household 


Members of the public are reminded that they should maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet from non-household members, practice good hand hygiene, and wear a mask or face covering at all times when on or in public places, or common areas of multi-unit residential buildings. Public places include sidewalks, streets, parks, plazas, bus stops, non-residential parking lots and garages, and any other outdoor area or non-residential parking facility which is open and accessible to the general public. Halloween costume masks are not a substitute for a cloth face covering or mask.

The full Temporary Emergency Restrictions on City Public Meetings, City Events, and City Permitted Events Due to COVID-19 can be viewed here

For more information and to sign up to receive updates on COVID-19, please visit the City’s dedicated information page: https://www.cambridgema.gov/covid19

Page was posted on 10/26/2020 6:32 PM
Page was last modified on 10/26/2020 6:33 PM
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