Oh My Gourd! Halloween Trick-or-Treating Banned in England’s Coronavirus Hotspots

Trick or Treat
Tom Wolf, Flickr

Halloween trick-or-treat celebrations will be banned this year in England’s China virus hotspots, the government’s junior business minister confirmed on Tuesday.

Conservative MP for Stratford-on-Avon, Nadhim Zahawi said that while children in cities under Tier 1 and 2 lockdown restrictions will be able to celebrate the autumn tradition in small groups, youngsters in areas under Tier 3 restrictions will be told to stay home for Halloween.

Zahawi tried to explain the distinctions of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s complicated lockdown tier system, telling LBC Radio: “If you are in Tier 1 and Tier 2 – Tier 1 you can trick or treat, just remind everybody that the rule of six still applies, so if you go and knock on someone’s door, you can’t go in if there are more than six people.”

“If you’re in Tier 2 then you can’t socialise inside somebody’s home, so you’d have to probably stand outside that home and that is the way you can enjoy trick or treating.

“Sadly, in Tier 3, you can’t, because it is the areas where we have the highest level of infections,” Zahawi admitted.

Local police forces in areas of the country with less strict coronavirus lockdown measures have been providing “no trick or treat” advice posters, for people who are considered to be in high-risk groups.

Jo Grimshaw, the Surrey Police anti-social behaviour manager told Sky News: “If you are going trick or treating, please follow the safety advice and remember that some people, especially the elderly, might be frightened by groups of people knocking at their doors so please respect any homes displaying a ‘no trick or treat’ sign.”

In Scotland, people have been ordered to remain at home on Halloween, and deputy first minister John Swinney said that households should also refrain from leaving bowls of candy outside their homes, for fear of spreading the virus.

“Quite conceivably, without anyone knowing that they were doing any harm to anybody else, somebody could give a child an assembled bag of sweeties – my son went out guising [a regional term for trick o’treating] last year and from our very kind neighbours he got little bags of sweeties – those bags could be the purveyors of coronavirus,” Swinney said.

In Wales — which has been placed under a two week “fire-break lockdown” until November 9th — First Minister Mark Drakeford said that Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night celebrations will both be cancelled.

“To be completely clear with people, the law, as it will apply in Wales, will not allow for bonfire gatherings or for gatherings for Halloween,” Drakeford said.

“In this extraordinary period, we all have to do everything we can because every little action that we take to work together will make a difference,” he went on, adding: “It will be self-policing because it will be very obvious if people try to break the law.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka


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