Boris Johnson's government is now the only one in the UK not directly urging kids against trick or treating this Halloween.

Officials in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all warning families to stop children going door-to-door on October 31, fearing it will spread the virus.

Scotland's deputy First Minister even claimed there was a risk bags of sweets between households could pass around Covid-19.

By contrast, No10 has failed to provide any clear Halloween-specific rules for England.

Children are advised not to go trick or treating in some parts of the UK

Boris Johnson's spokesman this week instead urged 'common sense'.

However the government is urging against trick or treating in the areas of England under the strictest lockdowns, one junior minister claimed on Tuesday.

Asked by LBC if trick-or-treating was banned this Saturday October 31, junior business minister Nadhim Zahawi said children in Tier 1 and 2 could, but: “Sadly - Tier 3 - you can’t. It’s a tough thing."

However the day before, Boris Johnson's spokesman had said trick-or-treating was not banned.

Some areas of the UK are being advised to keep their kids home this Halloween

Families were instead urged to use 'common sense' and apply their local tier restrictions to their Halloween plans.

But leaders in other parts of the UK have gone much further in asking trick-or-treaters to stay home this year.

Here's the guidance for your area...


Can you trick-or-treat in your tier this Halloween?

Well, it's tricky,

Any trick-or-treating will fall under exactly the same rules as other social gatherings in Tier 1, 2 or 3, Boris Johnson's spokesman said.

That means some people will be allowed to trick-or-treat and some people will not due to the complex maze of lockdown rules, and how they apply to private property.

In all tiers, gatherings of more than six people at any one time will be banned - which includes trick-or-treating pals door-knocking outdoors together.

And No10 appeared to suggest the six-person limit includes both the people knocking on the door, and those answering it.

The specific rules for each tier are outlined below.

Scotland's deputy First Minister fears trick-or-treaters handling sweets could spread coronavirus

Tier 3(not allowed - most of the time)

In the areas with the strictest lockdowns, it appears homes that open straight onto the street will be legally allowed to help trick-or-treaters - while those with a front garden or block of flats will not.

People in Tier 3 (Very High alert) will, however, be able to give kids sweets if the kids stay on the other side of the garden gate, it seems.

Halloween parties are also off the menu.

If you are living in a Tier 3 area, you are banned from gathering with anyone who isn't from your household or bubble, either indoors or in a private outdoor space.

That also means any trick-or-treating indoors or in a private garden or block of flats is off-limits.

Asked about the rules on trick-or-treating, a No10 spokesman said: "The rules are those which apply to household mixing in general.

"What that means in practice is that if you’re in a Very High Covid alert level, than you cannot mix with other households indoors or in private outdoor spaces."

No10 suggested that ban would also apply on the doorstep - because gatherings are banned both inside the house, and in the front garden.

Asked if the ban applies to doorsteps, the spokesman replied: "I think the question there is around where does someone’s private property begin."

This year's Halloween may disappoint trick-or-treating fans

But that response suggests people who live in a house that opens straight onto the street - for example, an old terraced house - are exempt from the ban.

It also suggests people are exempt if they host the trick-or-treaters on the other side of their garden gate.

The law states that people in Tier 3 areas are allowed to gather in groups of up to six on a public highway. So as long as people aren't in a private garden, trick-or-treating could - just about - be allowed.

Tier 2 (allowed if you stay outside)

In Tier 2 (High alert) areas of England, you are banned from gathering indoors with anyone who isn't from your household or bubble.

However, gatherings of up to six people are allowed in private gardens, including the front or back garden.

The number of people you can trick-or-treat outdoors is limited

This means trick-or-treating on someone's porch is acceptable, as long as the group comprises no more than six people in total.

A No10 spokesman said: "If you’re in the High Covid alert level, then the rule of six applies in private gardens and outdoor spaces, but households must not mix indoors."

Tier 1 (allowed)

In Tier 1 (Medium) areas of England, you are allowed to gather up to six people from multiple households, either indoors or in a private garden.

You should still observe social distancing, but this means trick-or-treating in Tier 1 areas is allowed.

A No10 spokesman said: "In terms of the medium alert level, you can meet inside and outside in no more than six people."

Scotland ('not advised')

Scotland's Deputy First Minister is urging families there not to send the kids out trick or treating this year.

But there doesn't seem to be a law against it.

John Swinney said there was a risk kids dressing up in costumers to go trick or treating, also known as 'guising,' and touching bags of sweets could spread coronavirus.

Speaking to the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme, Mr Swinney said: “We are advising parents not to engage in guising with their children – and that means not going door-to-door.

“While I appreciate that's disappointing advice, I've got to be realistic with the situation we've got. The interaction of humans is how the virus spreads and that can also be spread by the touching of items, like bags of sweeties."

He warned the bags of sweets changing hands could be "the purveyors of coronavirus."

Mr Swinney continued: “That doesn't mean Halloween can't happen. There can be all the dressing up that people want to do.

"There can be Halloween experiences. But what we can't do is enable children to go round doors, because it would be an opportunity to spread the virus.”

Wales ('strongly advised against it')

People in Wales are being “strongly advised” not to go trick or treating for Halloween this year, as the 'fire breaker' lockdown continues.

Again, it's not against the law - and sweets don't appear to be included in Wales' ban on non-essential shopping.

But costumes may be hard to come by with shops closed.

And Wales has made it quite clear that the government would rather children did not go trick-or-treating at all, under the current conditions.

A Government spokesman in recent weeks said families should not take their children out trick-or-treating this year.

“Sadly Halloween, like many other events, will be impacted by coronavirus,” a spokesman for the Welsh Government told Wales Online.

“We ask everyone to think how they can keep Wales safe this Halloween and not spread coronavirus.

“We strongly advise against traditional trick or treating. The more people you meet in close contact the more chance you have of catching and spreading the virus.

“Halloween parties in either your home or at another venue are not allowed as we seek to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Please remember not to meet anyone indoors that you don’t live with or is not part of your extended household. This applies to both your home and in places like pubs and restaurants.”

Families are being urged to celebrate Halloween in the home in some parts of the UK

Northern Ireland ('please stay in the house')

Stormont's Health Minister has encouraged children against trick or treating this year - suggesting Halloween revellers stay home instead.

Robin Swann suggested children in Northern Ireland go 'bobbing for apples' in their own homes instead of trick-or-treating around their neighbourhoods.

“I would encourage everyone who can stay in the house to stay in the house,” he said in a government briefing in recent weeks.

“There are Halloween activities that children across Northern Ireland can partake in that don't involve extra community interactions, don't involve them walking round streets or neighbourhoods.

“Maybe this year if they look to what they can do within the house.

“There is many an apple I bobbed for, I think if a lot of those Halloween activities that a lot of us used to partake in were brought back maybe for this year as a novelty factor, that we could maybe forgo trick or treating for a year.”

What to do instead?

A social media trend across the UK is encouraging children to go 'pumpkin-spotting' instead of trick-or-treating.

People are being urged to place carved Halloween pumpkins in their windows and gardens for children to spot safely while walking around their local neighbourhoods.

Of course, gathering rules in your area such as England's 'rule of six' will still apply for groups pumpkin-spotting together outdoors.