Celebrate safely when attending Outside Lands and Halloween gatherings

SF's Department of Emergency Management and Department of Public Health advise on safe gatherings ahead of busy and high-trafficked weekend festivities
October 27, 2021

The SF Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the SF Department of Public Health (SFDPH) welcome the return of SF's Outside Lands Festival (OSL) and long-awaited Halloween trick-or-treating and Día de los Muertos gatherings. The public is urged to follow health and safety precautions this weekend so that all participants may enjoy activities while remaining safe. To have fun, safely, SF asks festival goers and Halloween partakers to use common-sense measures like masking, vaccinations, and good hand hygiene.

The SF Department of Emergency Management (DEM), in partnership with SF public safety agencies, have been working closely with OSL event organizers to ensure attendees are informed of all public safety instructions, which would be issued through AlertSF. OSL attendees are encouraged to text message OUTSIDELANDS to 888-777 to receive text message notifications should an emergency occur at the event. 

“San Francisco’s hard work, sacrifice and commitment to keeping each other healthy and safe is paying off. This weekend kids can go trick-or-treating, families can celebrate loved ones who have passed, and concert goers can enjoy one of the premier music festivals in the world- all in person,” said Mary Ellen Carroll, Executive Director, San Francisco DEM. “Let’s keep our momentum going by making smart decisions and taking the necessary precautions to ensure we all remain healthy and safe. Together, we can keep San Francisco open and enjoy the city we love.” 

COVID Safety Measures

Masks are still required indoors in most public places including stores, restaurants and bars, public transit, healthcare settings, and large indoor events, even if patrons are fully vaccinated. Please refer to the Mask and Face Covering page on for information on indoor settings where masks are not required. Additionally, if you are over 12 years old, please remember to carry proof of vaccination with you at all times and a valid photo I.D., as restaurants and bars are required to check. Similar documentation issued by another foreign governmental jurisdiction is also accepted as long as you are fully vaccinated.

“The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. As we mark the beginning of the holiday season and return to many social activities and gatherings, it is paramount that we take measures to avoid a new wave of COVID-19 cases this winter,” says Dr. Naveena Bobba, SFDPH’s Deputy Director of Health. “Vaccinations offer the highest level of protection against the virus; those not yet vaccinated or eligible to receive booster doses should start that process today.”

Outside Lands (OSL)

Those attending should refer to the Festival’s Health & Safety information page to learn about COVID-19 safety protocols this weekend. It will be chilly outside, so dress warmly. And though masks are not required outdoors, they are still strongly encouraged. All attendees of OSL 2021 are required to either:

  • Provide proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (must receive your final vaccine dose 14 days prior to your entry date)


  • Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of attending the festival. Three-Day ticket holders must get tested either Thursday, 10/28 or Friday, 10/29 for their negative COVID-19 result to be accepted on all three days of the festival. 


  • Wear a mask at any indoor location at the festival -- it’s required. Masks are still strongly encouraged outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
  • Halloween Costumes are encouraged at OSL. For everyone’s safety, please:
    • Respect the cultures of others when choosing a Halloween costume.
    • Do not bring toy weapons of any kind (guns, knives, baseball bats, etc.).
    • Leave first responder costumes at home, including law enforcement, medical staff, and firefighters. They will be strictly prohibited.
    • More information about the OSL Costume Policy may be found here.

SF is committed to prioritizing the safety and security of all in attendance at OSL. In addition to health requirements, OSL will enforce a bag policy and offer a prohibited items list on the Health & Safety page on the festival’s website. Attendees are encouraged to visit the festival’s website before the event to learn about what is required and recommended. 

Halloween and Día de los Muertos Health and Safety Tips

COVID-19 Public Health Tips

  • Gathering outdoors is still the safest choice. Indoor activities are higher risk for everyone, including youth who are not yet vaccinated. 
  • Trick-or-Treaters should bring hand sanitizer along their route.
  • Remember to wash your hands before and after trick-or-treating, and before eating any treats. 
  • Limit outdoor crowds, especially for unvaccinated children. 
  • Monitor your health and stay home if you feel sick.  
  • Continue to make safer choices; consider wearing a well-fitted mask in private indoor settings, especially where the vaccination status of those present is unknown, and in large crowds outside.  
  • If you are considering traveling this weekend, please visit the CDC’s Travel page to help you decide what is best for you and your family. The CDC still recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.

General Public Safety

  • Keep children on sidewalks and always walk together from a street corner or at a walk signal. 
  • Have children wear reflective markings or carry a flashlight or glow sticks so they can see and be seen by drivers.
  • Parents and children should plan a route with visible, well-lit areas within their neighborhood area. 
  • If you see something, say something. Call 9-1-1 or talk to a nearby police office if you see something suspicious.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists should pay close attention to motorists and traffic conditions. With fuller neighborhoods, streets, and sidewalks, please exercise increased caution. 
  • Motorists are asked to avoid areas with increased foot traffic over Halloween weekend.
  • Always designate a driver or plan for alternate transportation options if alcohol will be included.

To receive general City emergency alerts, the public is encouraged to register for AlertSF at or by texting their zip code to 888-777. This is the fastest way to be informed of any type of emergency in your area.

SF remains steadfast in proactively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring a safe City for all. While we continue to follow emerging data and science on COVID-19, health recommendations may continue to be adjusted. In the meantime, SF has set up a dedicated hub for residents, visitors, business owners and employees. Please visit to find helpful information and resources. Visit or call 628-652-2700 for vaccination information and sites. For other upcoming vaccination events, please visit