PARENTS across East Lancashire are being warned they could face fines of £200 if they take their children trick or treating at Halloween this year.

With local lockdown restrictions in place across the whole of the county, current advice states people should not mix with anyone outside of their household or social bubbles in any setting, whether that be indoors or outdoors.

This means getting together with friends to go trick or treating is now not allowed.

In parts of England where local lockdowns are not in place, trick or treating would be permitted, provided the rule of six was adhered to and no more than four children were accompanied by one adult.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “In local lockdown areas we have been very clear that households should not mix.

“It is correct parents will be fined if children meet in groups of more than six children.”

The Department for Health and Social Care said in areas where local lockdowns are in place, trick-or-treating would be banned to help stop the spread of coronavirus, which could happen through knocking on multiple doors and accepting sweets from different households.

Instead, parents are being encouraged to take children ‘pumpkin spotting’ ­— looking for pumpkins or pictures of pumpkins in the windows of houses.

Again, this must only be done in household bubbles or social bubbles and mixing households is not allowed.

In Darwen, residents are organising a pumpkin trail Halloween walk to encourage children to be active and engage in some spooky fun.

Householders wishing to participate are being asked to decorate their windows and place a number in the window which is visible to see.

The event, which will start in Whitehall Park, will then see children and their families take a trail around the area to find the decorated windows, before recording them on a form.

A spokesperson for the event said: “Please do not encourage children to trick or treat, we need to all stay safe as much as we can.

“When you find a number, write it down with the address, and we will see how far and wide people have walked.

“Forms should then be dropped back off at the gates to the park.”

Organisers are also encouraging people to send photos to community Facebook pages so residents can see all the houses that have joined in.

The spokesperson added: “Please adhere to the regulations and ensure you are not mixing households unless it’s your support bubble, that social distancing is observed and wave at those who are inside their houses.

“Fancy dress would also be amazing to see.”

Forms are to be collected from the main bottom gates of Whitehall Park between 4.30pm and 8.30pm on Saturday October 31.

Anyone wishing to participate and decorate their house should search for the event in the Whitehall Area Darwen Neighbourhood Facebook group.