COVID-19 Safety Guidance for Halloween and the Holiday Season

Published on October 20, 2021

DENVER – With Halloween and the holiday season fast approaching, it is important to implement COVID-19 safety precautions to keep friends and loved ones safe during celebrations. With holiday celebrations bringing generations together, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) recommends anyone age 12 years and older get vaccinated before the festivities begin. All three COVID-19 vaccines are free, readily available and requires no proof of insurance or identification. 

For information including where to find a vaccine, frequently asked questions about vaccines, information about vaccine safety, and myth-busting answers, visit Denvergov.org or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish, to get the contact information of three nearby locations with available vaccines.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) recommend taking the following precautions this Halloween and holiday season: 

  • Go trick-or-treating outside in small groups and avoiding crowded indoor Halloween parties.
  • Costume masks are not a substitute for face coverings that protect against COVID-19.
  • Face coverings that protect against COVID-19 should be made from two or more breathable fabric layers that cover the nose and mouth, with no gaps around the face. 
  • If wearing a costume mask over a cloth face covering makes it hard to breathe, consider a Halloween-themed cloth mask as part of the costume instead.
  • Protect those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children, by getting yourself and other eligible people around them vaccinated.
  • Wear well-fitting face coverings over the nose and mouth in public indoor settings if not fully vaccinated.
  • Even those who are fully vaccinated should wear a face covering in public indoor settings in communities with substantial to high transmission.
  • Remember gathering outdoors is safer than indoors.
  • Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Those who are sick or have symptoms should NOT host or attend gatherings.
  • Those with COVID-19 symptoms or have close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should get tested immediately. 

Those planning to travel for a holiday or event should visit the CDC’s Travel page to help decide the best plans for travel. The CDC still recommends delaying travel until all those traveling are fully vaccinated. 

For those who are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s domestic travel or international travel recommendations for unvaccinated people. 

Special considerations: 

  • People who have weakened immune systems may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated and have received an additional dose. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
  • People might choose to wear a face covering regardless of the level of transmission if a member of your household has a weakened immune system and is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.
  • When gathering with a group of people from multiple households and potentially from different parts of the country, consider additional precautions (e.g., avoiding crowded indoor spaces before travel, taking a COVID-19 test) in advance of gathering to further reduce risk. 

Additional resources about vaccination, testing, and booster shots can be found on DDPHE’s COVID-19 webpage