Halloween trick or treating will be cancelled for children in local lockdowns that currently restrict the activities of 16.8m people, Downing Street has confirmed.
No.10 said the rules were “clear” and that parents living under restrictions which state that households should not mix will not be allowed to send their kids door knocking on October 31.
In areas which are not in local lockdown, children will have to abide by the rule of six.
Parents face fines of at least £200 for breaking the rules, which are designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
This means that in practice a group of trick or treating children will have to number five or smaller, as the person answering the door would become part of their group while they hand sweets over or subject themselves to a trick.
But Halloween has effectively been cancelled for many children living in local lockdowns in cities like Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, with rules varying across the country.
Asked about whether Halloween trick or treat could take place, a Downing Street spokesperson told reporters: “The rules are clear on household mixing, dependent on whether you are in a local lockdown area or not.
“We are clear that everybody needs to follow the rule of six to ensure we can control and try and reduce the spread of the virus.
“The rule of six will be asked of the public.”
Asked if that meant no trick or treat at all in areas where household mixing is banned, the spokesperson said: “In local lockdown areas we have been clear that households should not mix.
“Anywhere else where there isn’t a local lockdown, the rule of six applies.”
In areas where households are allowed to mix but the rule of six applies, children should mitigate against the threat of coronavirus infection, the spokesperson suggested.
They said: “The guidance is clear in terms of what we are asking the public to do in terms of making sure they abide by the rule of six, and making sure that they continue to wash their hands, making continue to try and socially distance where possible and use mitigations where that isn’t possible.”
The spokesperson also confirmed: “It’s correct parents will be fined if children meet in more than groups of six children.”