SUDBURY -- Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger is calling on residents who decide to trick or treat this year to take extra precautions and follow recommendations from the health unit to stay safe.

"I know many of you have questions, and so I wanted to be clear: trick-or-treating is permitted this Halloween, but please do it safely," Bigger said in a statement Thursday. "Travel only with members of your household, ensure non-medical masks or face coverings are worn at all times, practice physical distancing, and do not trick-or-treat or hand out candy if you are sick.

"Please respect and skip houses if the lights are out. People may be choosing to not hand out candy due to health concerns or because they are isolating."

Bigger said he's confident residents will act responsibly, pointing to the recent Thanksgiving holiday.

Challenging times

"I know it’s been challenging, but we’ve proven we can adapt our holiday celebrations to the current environment, with the safety of our friends and family at the forefront," he said. "I was pleased to learn we received only one complaint about social gatherings over the Thanksgiving long weekend. Together, we are taking this pandemic seriously and adapting accordingly."

People who choose alternative ways to celebrate Halloween have plenty of options, Bigger said, including virtual activities, at-home scavenger hunts, and much more.

"For our teens and adults, I encourage you to skip the in-person parties and instead host a virtual party or share your spooky costumes on social media," he said. "Remember, gathering restrictions remain in place: 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors are allowed under provincial legislation, following masking, sanitizing and distancing protocols. But non-essential gatherings of any size should be limited. Stick with members of your household for indoor activities."

Halloween poster are available on the city's website that residents can post to let children know whether a house is taking part this year.

"I encourage you to choose ways keep our kids and our community safe from COVID-19 this Halloween," Bigger added.

For more information, visit the Public Health Sudbury & Districts website.