It’s the night when spirits and monsters — and Iron Man — emerge from hiding, but as the country emerges from various lockdowns, you too can enjoy a safe Halloween. 

This year, Halloween falls on a Sunday, meaning many Australians will be gathering in their haunted houses for a monster mash to remember, or taking to the streets to trick-or-treat.

With vaccination rates rising and COVID-19 restrictions easing, it can be confusing staying up with the latest health advice.

Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of how you can celebrate Halloween in 2021:

Those in New South Wales should stick to their local neighbourhood

Some avid Halloween fans constructed socially distanced lolly shoots last year, like this system in New York.(Reuters: Mike Segar)

In New South Wales, Halloween celebrations are encouraged if they’re done so in a COVID-safe way, health authorities say.

While fully vaccinated residents can host up to 20 fully vaccinated visitors in their homes, those wanting to throw a party are recommended to do so outside, where 50 vaccinated people can gather

Those planning on celebrating the spooky season should follow these COVID-safe tips from NSW Health:

  • Aim to keep celebrations outside
  • Provide closed packaging for treats and, instead of communal lolly bowls, consider other ways of distributing treats — for example, along the front fence or hidden in your front yard
  • Keep it local — put effort into decorating the front yard and staying in your neighbourhood rather than travelling to well-known “treat streets” frequented by many people
  • Don’t share costume face masks
  • Stay at home and don’t participate if feeling unwell, with even the mildest of symptoms — get tested and isolate until you receive a negative result
  • People isolating or feeling unwell should not open their door to Halloween visitors
  • Practise good hand hygiene and use sanitiser after touching common surfaces.

If you’re not fully vaccinated, you cannot visit someone at their home for a party, and you can gather outdoors with one other person or with your household. 

It’ll be a ‘click-and-collect’ Halloween in Victoria

More freedoms will come into place in Victoria on October 29. (ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

Following months of lockdown and stay-at-home restrictions, Victorians are finally in for a treat when it comes to Halloween.

Last Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the state will hit its 80 per cent vaccination milestone almost a week ahead of schedule, meaning all of Victoria will be on the same COVID-19 settings for the first time in months.

The border around Melbourne was dropped at 6pm on Friday, October 29, allowing Victorians to travel anywhere in the state.

If you’re going trick-or-treating, Victoria’s Department of Health said the activity should be “contactless and done while taking all the usual precautions that remain so important”.

Masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors, but health authorities highly recommend that Victorians continue to wear masks outdoors where they cannot physically distance.

Mr Andrews said Halloween will be a “click-and-collect” affair this year, so leave the goodies at the gate.

If a Halloween party is more your style, private gatherings are limited to 10 people, including dependants, while outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people, including dependants.

COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT have eased just in time

After two months of lockdown, restrictions in the Australian Capital Territory have relaxed just in time for the big day come October 31. 

From today, Canberrans will be allowed to host up to 10 visitors in their homes — the limit does not apply to children under 12 years of age — and up to 30 people, including children, can gather outdoors, giving the green light to trick-or-treating.

Face masks are not mandatory but Canberrans can still choose to wear one. (Reuters: Joshua Roberts )

If you’re planning on celebrating, ACT Health has outlined ways to have fun while staying COVID-safe:

  • Keep it local by staying in your suburb rather than going to well-known “treat streets” that attract big crowds
  • Stay in small household groups — for example, a supervising adult with children from the same household — rather than groups of young people together
  • Maintain physical distancing. Stay 1.5 metres away from people you don’t live with
  • Only accept individually wrapped sweets or treat bags
  • Avoid sharing your treats with others from different households
  • Carry hand sanitiser with you and use it often, especially after touching common surfaces
  • If a particular house looks busy, move onto the next house or come back later

If you’re handing out goodies, keep the sweets individually wrapped or use treat bags, consider hanging them on your fence, front gate or driveway or set up a small table for a driveway and place a treat bowl on top. 

While face masks are not mandatory for outdoors as of October 29, ACT Health says Canberrans can still choose to wear one. 

Masks will be best costume accessory in Queensland

Those in south-east Queensland must wear a mask where they cannot socially distance.(Reuters: Fabrizio Bensch)

Queenslanders will be able to invite plenty of goblins and ghouls over for a Halloween bash, with up to 100 people allowed to gather indoors, and no limit on those gathering outdoors. 

“We’d like to remind all the princesses, witches, ghouls and ghosties out there to stay up to date with the health directions that are in place on October 31,” a Queensland Health spokesperson said. 

“This means staying physically distanced from other groups of nightmarish creatures, and wash your hands, claws, tentacles, and so on, frequently and well.”

And, if you need a refresher, wearing a mask when you’re unable to socially distance is required across south-east Queensland, which includes Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Lockyer, Somerset, Logan, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Scenic Rim.

Tasmania’s recent lockdown hasn’t impacted Halloween

Gatherings in Tasmania are capped at 100 people. (ABC News: Jonathan Hair)

Halloween celebrations can proceed as normal in Tasmania, despite the state experiencing a seven-day lockdown earlier in October. 

Currently, gatherings in households — or shacks — in Tasmania are limited to up to 100 people, including children, at any one time, and applies both inside and outside the home. 

Face masks are not mandatory outdoors in Tasmania, but they can provide extra protection if you’re trick-or-treating and can’t socially distance.

Halloween will be as spooky as ever in the Northern Territory

Australians are adopting American holiday traditions like carving pumpkins for Halloween.(ABC: Richelle Hunt)

There are currently no COVID-19 restrictions in place in the Northern Territory, meaning any spooky plans in the Top End can proceed as normal.

If you’re thinking of going trick-or-treating or hosting a Halloween party, remember to socially distance and practise good hand hygiene

Some restrictions in South Australia won’t spoil trick-or-treating

Fake cobwebs on a letterbox and other Halloween decorations in a front yard in Adelaide.(ABC News: Eugene Boisvert)

South Australia is currently under Level 1 restrictions, meaning no more than 20 people, including children and residents, can gather in one household. 

Masks are required in South Australia but only in high-risk settings, including aged care and disability care facilities, prisons and certain areas in hospitals. 

A mask is not required to be worn outdoors if you’re able to socially distance yourself from others, so consider bringing one with you if you’re going trick-or-treating in case it’s busy. 

No limits on gatherings at your haunted house in Western Australia

While Western Australia remains in a State of Emergency, there are no strict COVID-19 restrictions in place.

There are currently no capacity limits for venues and events, meaning your Halloween bash at your haunted house can go ahead at full capacity. 

Health authorities say it’s important for our wellbeing to celebrate the things we enjoy. (Reuters: Shannon Stapleton)

Health authorities in WA are encouraging those wishing to celebrate to socially distance and practise good personal hygiene

“Should we continue to keep COVID-19 out of the WA community, WA Health would encourage people to take part in Halloween activities,” a spokesperson said.

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