By CBSNewYork Team

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – For the second year in a row, the CDC is advising families to skip holiday gatherings, even if vaccinated. They’re also urging people to only travel if necessary. But what about trick or treating?

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reports, as pumpkins and other Halloween decorations go up around the neighborhood, families are also planning ahead for Thanksgiving and beyond.

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“Super anxious. I’m already planning my holidays, trying to think where I want to go, stay here, or go back home,” said Union County resident Lennys Carrillo.

“My family is close knit. Everybody is vaccinated. So we are comfortable now hanging out, social gatherings, as long as it’s not a big thing,” said Roselle resident Jessica Condrack.


Health experts warn once again to keep it small.

“Chill out. Everybody just relax and step back. We are not completely back to normal,” said Dr. Perry Halkitis with the Rutgers School of Public Health.

Halkitis says even as more people get vaccinated, the diseases is not contained. So we must rely on strategies we’ve used before.

“Which is limiting our gatherings, preferably to outdoor. If indoor, as few people as possible, with open windows,” Halkitis said.

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Gov. Phil Murphy says not to expect any draconian mandates when it comes to the holidays.

“We lose credibility if being seen as draconian when it defies common sense, and I hope we never cross that line,” Murphy said. “It’s your family. You know your vaccination status, and getting together around the Thanksgiving table. I think it’s out of bounds for us to say you’ve got to wear a mask, don’t have the dinner.”


But the governor warns to take precautions to avoid a winter spike due to more people hanging out indoors.

Halloween is on in New Jersey.

“Ask everyone to be safe, smart, do the right thing,” Murphy said. “The key will be how people behave inside. It won’t be door-to-door trick or treating. It will be the party in someone’s basement.”

Halkitis suggests keeping your trick or treating group small, and incorporating a mask into your child’s costume.

Halkitis said he is most worried about the young children up to age 11 who can not get vaccinated yet. He urges parents to get their 12 and older children vaccinated to protect our youngest.

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Meg Baker contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team