HALIFAX -- New Brunswick public health has announced guidelines allowing New Brunswickers to celebrate Thanksgiving and Halloween this October.

“They may look different this year, but with some planning we can still enjoy these special occasions safely,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health.

Russell recommends that New Brunswickers have small Thanksgiving gatherings this year and hold them outside if weather permits.

Hand sanitizer should be made available and everyone should wash their hands before preparing food or eating.

Anyone who is sick or has COVID-19 symptoms is asked not to participate in holiday gatherings.

The advice for Halloween includes warnings against wearing a costume mask, advising that face masks be worn instead.

Those who plan to hand out treats are asked to sanitize their hands between visitors, keep high-touch areas such as door handles and railings clean and consider offering non-food treats like stickers or coloured pencils.

If someone is sick or at higher risk, they are asked to not hand out candy to children.

Public health advises that trick-or-treaters should wash their hands before heading out and upon returning home.