KITCHENER -- The provincial government is encouraging residents to consider printing a poster letting trick-or-treaters know if they're handing out candy this year.

The posters are available on the Ontario government's website and offer two options: welcoming trick-or-treaters or telling people to come back next year.

Health officials say people should only gather with those inside their own household and should stay home if they're sick. Anyone feeling any symptoms, even mild ones, should turn off their porch light and not hand out treats.

Trick-or-treaters should also stay within their public health unit region.

Waterloo Region and surrounding areas remain in Stage 3 of Ontario's reopening plan, meaning people can go trick-or-treating but are encouraged to wear masks and use tongs to hand out candy.

The posters will let people know if they have candy available, the province says.

Trick-or-treating isn't encouraged in COVID-19 hotspots that have moved into a modified Stage 2.