Ahead of Halloween, Nadhim Zahawi, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Industry, told LBC radio that “it’s a tough thing” that in ‘Tier 3’ people won’t be able to participate in traditional activities this year.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister reaffirmed the gloomy reality.
"The rules are those which apply to household mixing in general and what that means in practice is if you’re in a ‘Very High’ alert level then you cannot mix with other households indoors or in private outdoor spaces."
Anyone caught breaking the rules in England faces a fine of £200, rising up to £3,200 for repeat offenders.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to issue guidance in the next few days, while Wales is currently in a ‘firebreak’ national lockdown that prohibits mixing between households indoors and outdoors.
Rob Chester, Managing Director of NSF International, a Public Health and Safety Organisation, did not ask people to “boycott Halloween” but warned that “COVID-19 won’t be taking a day off on the 31st October”.
While Tier 1 and 2 areas will be able to go trick and treating, although the rule of six still applies to all, local authorities are providing residents with “no trick or treat advice posters” for those who might be shielding or concerned about the risk of interacting with other households, further limiting the popular occasion.
The University of Reading’s Dr Simon Clarke raised concerns that could worry families about an “unbeknown infected household” giving sweets to children who could then present a threat “particularly if they live with someone with heightened risk”.
Surrey Police urged residents to keep in mind that some, especially the elderly, might be scared by trick or treaters and asked individuals to consider how their Halloween customs might affect other people.