HONOLULU (KHON2) — Halloween is one week away, but celebrations will be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City and County of Honolulu is asking the public to follow the emergency orders in place this holiday season.
“Halloween is a fun holiday, but right now we’ve got to put public health and safety ahead of fun,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell.
In a press conference on Thursday, the mayor warned that gatherings could lead to an increase of cases, potentially forcing the City and County of Honolulu to move back a tier in its reopening plan.
“If we let our guard down and we gather in groups more than five in unrelated households indoors for prolonged periods of time without face coverings during the Halloween period, we’re going to be in a deep amount of Kimchee two weeks after that,” said Mayor Caldwell.
The City and County of Honolulu released its guidance for Halloween.
Face coverings must be worn, but must follow the face-covering rules under the City and County of Honolulu’s emergency orders. The order says that face coverings must not have holes, vents or valves, which cancels out some Halloween masks.
The Department of Health suggests using a cloth face covering with a Halloween print, and does not recommend doubling up on masks.
Groups that go out for activities like trick-or-treating must be kept to five or less. That number includes adults and children. Physical distancing also has to be followed.
Under the guidelines for Halloween, large events or parties, non-drive-through trunk-or-treat and indoor haunted houses are considered unsafe or illegal.
Contactless door-to-door trick-or-treating, drive-through contactless trunk-or-treating and physically distanced neighborhood costume parade are allowed, but the city asks that people take precaution with these activities.
According to the guide, the safest activity for people would be to celebrate the holiday at home.
“HPD is going to do what they need to do to make sure the orders are followed.”Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu Mayor
The Honolulu Police Department said it will have additional officers working that night. It is encouraging the public and event organizers to avoid large groups.
Waikiki, which was one of the major hubs for celebrating Halloween in the past, will be watched closely by officers.
“We’re going to have groups and a lot of people maybe, I don’t know … it’s hard to predict how the public’s going to react,” said State of Hawaii Organization or Police Officers President Malcolm Lutu.
Either way, he said they will be ready.
“They’re gearing up like how we always do every year,” said Lutu.
Those breaking the rules could face a fine up to $5,000 or a year in jail, or both.