What are the rules for trick-or-treating and will it change under Tier 3 restrictions?

Families are being urged not to go trick-or-treating this year as the North East remains under Tier 2 of England’s coronavirus restrictions.

Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 2:09 pm

The Government introduced the three-tier system earlier this month to simplify and standardise local lockdown rules.

County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland were immediately placed under the ‘high’ Covid alert level, also known as Tier 2.

The state of alert in Hartlepool and the rest of the Tees Valley is also at Tier 2.

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Families are being urged to take part in virtual Halloween events this year

Under Tier 2, household mixing in any indoor setting is banned – but people from different households can meet outside while observing social distancing, including in private gardens, under the ‘Rule of 6’.

Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions would make trick-or-treating virtually impossible as they specifically ban people from socialising with anybody they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, in any private garden as well as indoors.

North East councils are urging people to stay at home this Halloween if the region is to avoid joining areas such as Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham in Tier 3.

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Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Healthy City, Councillor Dr Geoff Walker, said: “We want the people of Sunderland to enjoy Halloween but remember: do not mix with people from other households in any indoor setting; you can mix with up to six people from other households in an outdoor setting; if mixing outdoors, wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands or use sanitiser regularly.

"Trick-or-treating is strongly discouraged because of the risks of keeping socially-distanced and the chances of Covid being passed on from sharing food and sweets.”

Coun Joan Atkinson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council, added: “Halloween is such an exciting time of year, with trick-or-treating a much-loved pastime for children.

“Of course, this year has presented us all with unprecedented challenges and many key events and traditions have had to be adapted or cancelled.

“The health and safety of our residents must remain our priority right now and as such, we would encourage families to continue to abide by the current restrictions as well as consider some safer alternative ways to celebrate within the rules.”

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