Merseyside Police will intervene to prevent large gatherings this Halloween, the force has confirmed.
With the whole Liverpool City Region under Tier 3 rules, the risk of catching coronavirus is classed as very high, but some fear people may break the rules in order to celebrate Halloween and next week’s Bonfire Night.
Chief Inspector Peter Clark, who is heading this year’s operation for Merseyside Police, said people will face action for breaching the restrictions during the festivities.
He said: “We are keen to get the balance right between protecting people from the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that they can still enjoy this period.
“Where people are flouting restrictions, we will however take action.
"Our message regarding anti-social behaviour during this period remains simple – it will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing this type of offence will be dealt with firmly and robustly.
“No one should have to suffer being the victim of anti-social behaviour and I would like to reassure everyone that there will be extra high-visibility patrols during this time.”
Find out how many Covid-19 cases there are in your area by adding your postcode below
In Wirral, major outdoor events including the annual firework displays in Wirral’s parks and the River of Light Spectacular, scheduled to take place over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period, have been cancelled to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Wirral Council, along with other local authorities, is also encouraging members of the public to find alternatives to trick or treating and gathering at bonfire or firework displays this year.
All requests to hold events such as firework displays, no matter how large or small, will be refused for public safety reasons.
Cllr Tom Anderson, chair of the council’s tourism and culture committee, said: “The cancellation of these outdoor events has been an unfortunate but necessary decision in order to avoid large gatherings of people and prioritise the safety of our residents.
“As with many other celebrations this year, the events of Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali will look different in 2020 but families around the borough should not arrange their own gatherings in place of the usual firework displays.”
Keeping your bin out of sight is one step Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said you can take to avoid unnecessary problems over the next week.
The fire service is also encouraging people not to have bonfires on public land this year in order to avoid attracting crowds which could spread the virus.
It's never been more important to stay in touch with the news, so subscribe now to the Liverpool Echo newsletter. Twice a day, seven days a week, we'll deliver the biggest stories straight to your inbox.
We'll also send special breaking news emails too for the latest stories that matter. You won't miss a thing.
How do I sign up?
It's free, easy and takes no time at all.
- First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre.
- Once you're there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the News button. There are other newsletters available too if you want them as well.
- When you've made your choice, press the Update Preference button at the bottom.
Joe Cunliffe, station manager at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Deliberately started fires in the run up to bonfire night put a huge drain on already overstretched fire service resources.
“You can help to reduce the number of incidents this bonfire period by never giving combustible materials to anyone, especially young people, and making sure your wheelie bin is out of sight – only put it out on collection day and bring it back in as soon as possible.”
Wirral Council is working with the fire service to help remove fly-tipped waste or unlit bonfires.
To help support this service, residents can report a build-up of dumped and combustible waste that could be used for deliberate fires, such as wood, mattresses and couches, by reporting it online or calling the fire service on 0800 731 5958 from Monday-Friday between 9am and 5pm.