CHILDREN in Scotland have been asked to avoid guising this Halloween as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish Government announced the move on Saturday, one week before Halloween, on the Parent Club website.

Allowing children to go door to door this year would increase the risk of the spread of Covid-19, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.

Guidance was also issued on Bonfire Night, with Scots being told not to hold large gatherings in their garden due to the cancellation of organised events.

Swinney said: “Under the current restrictions it is not possible to meet up indoors or in large groups outdoors, so the safest thing to do this year is to stay at home.

“I know guising is a big part of Halloween and children will be sad to miss out, but as door-to-door guising brings an additional and avoidable risk of spreading the virus, our clear advice for families is to avoid it.

“Children can still get dressed up and share jokes with their families, and our Parent Club guidance has lots of fun and creative ideas for families to enjoy a safe celebration at home.

“On Bonfire Night it is vital the public adhere to the rules on meeting up with other households to help stop the spread of the virus.

“We know that some people may consider using fireworks in their back gardens. If you do plan on using fireworks this Bonfire Night, please do so responsibly and safely.

“Adapting alternative celebrations and sticking to the rules in place can go a huge way to ensuring everyone’s safety.”

The announcement of the guidance follows comments by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday, who said it was “not safe” for guising to be allowed this year, due to Covid-19.

At the coronavirus briefing, she said: “It’s not safe right now to do these things as normal, and it would not be fair of me or right of me to say otherwise.

“To parents, to children; think of ways you can celebrate in a way that is safe and doesn’t have children or others coming into unnecessary contact with others.”