FILE - pumpkin patch, hayride

(The Center Square) – Masks are fine for Halloween in Illinois, but state officials issued new guidance this week that said haunted houses and hayrides won't be permitted.

In an updated guidance document the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity posted Thursday, the administration laid out some updates for Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's reopening plan.

The guidelines still have requirements for face coverings when within 6 feet of others inside businesses and other mitigation measures. The document also states there could be additional capacity allowed for public events and gatherings.

“Capacity restrictions will be reassessed based on the latest science and public health metrics on an ongoing basis throughout Phase 4,” the document said.

It also offers guidance on pumpkin patches, hayrides, haunted houses and other fall activities.

Pumpkin patches are OK. As for hayrides? 

Thursday's updated document had initially said: "Amusement rides such as train rides, hay rides, and inflatables must remain closed."

The guidance document was updated late Friday with different language that said hayrides and haunted hayrides were permitted with capacity limits.

"Hayrides/haunted can operate at 50% capacity, with parties spaced at least six feet apart and wearing masks, with the best practice to limit hayrides to members of the same household," Friday's update said.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity didn't immediately respond to why the guidelines changed.

What about haunted houses?

“No,” the document states. “Haunted houses should remain closed at this time.”

Last month, the governor’s emergency rule allowing for penalties of up to $2,500 against businesses that violate his orders was allowed to stay in place after a legislative rule body failed to suspend the rule. The emergency rule is in effect until sometime in January, or if the governor repeals the rule.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.