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Beverly Hills bans trick-or-treating, citing coronavirus risks

A group of girls in Halloween makeup and tutus joins a crowd at a Laguna Beach Halloween street party.
Trick-or-treaters fill the roadway during the 2017 Oak Street Halloween block party in Laguna Beach.
(Don Leach / Times Community News)

Trick or treat? In Beverly Hills, the answer this year is “no” after city officials opted to nix the Halloween tradition in the face of ongoing coronavirus concerns.

The City Council’s decision Tuesday prohibits both house-to-house trick-or-treating and car-based “trunk or treating” on Oct. 31.

More broadly, residents will be barred from giving out candy or other holiday treats to anyone outside their immediate household.

Scofflaws could be cited if they violate the restrictions, according to the city.

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“While I know this is disappointing news, especially to our children, we believe this is the responsible approach to protect the health of the community,” Mayor Lester Friedman said in a statement.

The city is working to develop virtual Halloween programming as an alternative, officials said.

Along with trick-or-treating, spraying shaving cream on others in public will also be banned in Beverly Hills on Halloween — unless the person doing the spraying is a licensed barber with a customer.

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City officials also announced the following streets would be closed to outside pedestrian and vehicle traffic from 6 to 10 p.m. on Halloween night:

  • Carmelita Avenue at Wilshire Boulevard
  • Walden Drive southbound at Elevado Avenue
  • Walden Drive at Santa Monica Boulevard
  • Carmelita Avenue westbound at North Linden Drive
  • The alley between North Linden Drive and Walden Drive from Santa Monica Boulevard to Elevado Avenue

Beverly Hills’ decision came the same day that state health officials released new guidelines advising Californians to skip trick-or-treating this year, though they didn’t outright prohibit the tradition.

Trick-or-treating doesn’t lend itself to social distancing and instead leads to numerous interactions between different households, possibly contributing to the spread of the coronavirus, officials said.

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“We don’t want to turn certainly what is a celebration and a time of joy into something that is difficult or contentious, but we also recognize the need to provide a clear understanding of the risks and why we recommend strongly that we do Halloween differently than we have in the past,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Tuesday.

Last month, Los Angeles County public health officials briefly banned trick-or-treating. They quickly walked back the decision, however, saying instead that the practice was not recommended.


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