Halloween coronavirus: Can children trick or treat in England in Tiers 1, 2 and 3?

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read
Little girl in witch costume and boy dressed up as vampire on Halloween trick or treat. Children trick or treating with candy bucket. Kids celebrate Halloween at fireplace with pumpkin and lantern.
Trick or treating is permitted in many parts of England this Halloween. (Getty)

The government has suggested that Halloween can still be celebrated in the traditional manner in many parts of England under COVID-19 rules.

It had been thought that ministers would introduce a blanket ban on Halloween activities in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

However, on Monday, Boris Johnson’s official spokesman indicated that children in many areas can still go trick or treating this Saturday, 31 October.

"The rules are there for all circumstances and people will have to use their common sense in ensuring they are following the rules,” the prime minister’s spokesman said.

Watch: People in Scotland told to ‘stay home’ at Halloween

People in Scotland have been told to “stay at home” this Halloween, while the government in Wales has “strongly advised” people not to trick or treat.

But in England, the extent of Halloween celebrations depends on the level of coronavirus restrictions in each area – and whether it is in Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3.

Let’s look at what you can and can’t do this Halloween in England’s three tiers:

Tier 1

In Tier 1, or “medium” alert level, trick or treating is permitted in groups of six or less.

Trick or treaters could even step into someone else’s home, as long as they adhere to the rule of six.

In England, children are included in the rule of six.

The prime minister's spokesman said: "In terms of the medium alert level, you can meet indoors and outdoors in groups of no more than six people.”

When asked if someone’s doorstep counts as indoors or outdoors, the spokesman said the issue was where the householder’s private property began.

Asked if Johnson would encourage people not to go trick or treating this year, his spokesman said: "He'd encourage people to follow local rules in all circumstances."

Tier 2

In Tier 2, or the “high” alert level, trick or treating is permitted but only in groups of six or less and only outdoors. This can include private gardens.

In England, the rule of six does include children.

The prime minister’s spokesman said: "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."

Tier 3

Trick or treating is banned in Tier 3 areas, the government has confirmed.

On Tuesday, junior business minister Nadhim Zahawi told LBC radio that the practice is not permitted in areas within the highest level of the COVID-19 lockdown.

"Sadly… Tier 3… you can’t,” he said. "It's a tough thing.”

Some police forces in the North West of England that are in the “very high” alert level have said trick or treating is banned.

Lancashire Police said: "People will need to find alternative celebrations to traditional trick or treating as we know it.

a child's hand reaches for candy in a pumpkin-shaped candy basket.
Trick or treating is banned in Tier 3 areas of England. (Getty)

"Lancashire is in Tier 3 regulations and the law is that people can't socialise with anyone who isn't in their household or social bubble – this applies anywhere indoors and in private outdoor spaces including yards and gardens.

"This means traditional trick or treating where you go and knock on someone else's door isn't allowed as ​it means people from different households would be socialising and mixing."

The prime minister’s official spokesman said on Monday: "If you're in a ‘very high’ alert level then you cannot mix with other households indoors or in private outdoor spaces."

Watch: How will England's three-tier local lockdown system work?

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