You can go trick or treating this Hallowe'en despite coronavirus - unless you live in a Tier 3 area

Harry Yorke
·3 min read
Children with pumpkins in front  of their faces - susan.k./ Getty Images Contributor
Children with pumpkins in front of their faces - susan.k./ Getty Images Contributor
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

Millions of children across England will still be able to go trick or treating on Hallowe'en, Downing Street has confirmed. 

Dispelling fears that the annual tradition would be shelved this year due to the pandemic, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said that youngsters would be expected to follow the local restrictions in their areas.

It means that children in tier two areas, where the rule of six still applies outdoors, could still take part providing they do not step indoors when door-knocking their neighbours. 

The same applies to those living in tier one areas, where the rule of six applies indoors as well.

However, in a blow for those living in tier three areas, the more stringent ban on household mixing indoors and in outdoor private spaces means they will be unable to participate.

As trick or treating involves knocking on someone's front door, children would be entering someone’s private property if they knocked on their doors and therefore be in breach of the rules.

Asked to clarify the rules  on Monday, the spokesman said: "The rules are those which apply to household mixing in general and what that means in practice is if you are in Very High alert level then you cannot mix with other households indoors or in private outdoor spaces.

"If you're in a High Covid alert level then the rule of six applies in private gardens and outdoor spaces but households must not mix indoors.

"And in terms of the Medium alert level, you can meet indoors and outdoors in groups of no more than six people.

"The rules are there for all circumstances and people will have to use their common sense in ensuring they are following the rules."

It comes after The Telegraph reported that police forces across England had issued advice ahead of October 31, with police patrols in tier three areas due to be stepped up throughout the evening. 

In Lancashire, which was placed into tier three earlier this month, the local police force has issued a statement urging residents not to put sweets out on doorsteps for youngsters.

“Traditional trick or treating isn’t allowed as it means people from different households would be socialising and mixing,” a spokesman said.

“We’d urge people to follow the rules and if they do celebrate, make sure they are not inadvertently putting themselves on the wrong side of the law or spreading the virus. We’d recommend people don’t put communal sweets outside for children – the risk is they end up as germ magnets.”

In Surrey, where most areas remain in tier one, “no trick or treat” posters are also being distributed by local neighbourhood policing teams for residents wishing to avoid contact with children taking part. 

Meanwhile, Age UK has asked people in lower tier areas to be considerate when trick or treating this year towards elderly people who may be shielding to protect themselves from covid-19.