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FIREWORKS: New Year’s Eve display cancelled due to Covid

FIREWORKS: New Year’s Eve display cancelled due to Covid

Manchester Cathedral pictured in November 2020. Credit: Google Maps

Manchester council has decided to cancel its New Year’s Eve fireworks display.

The decision has been taken due to current government guidance regarding the use of vaccine passports for large outdoor events which would prove ‘extremely challenging’ to manage due to the public nature of the event.

It comes more than two months after London mayor announced the firework display in the capital would be cancelled due to ‘uncertainty’ over coronavirus.

Around 20,000 people attended the last New Year’s Eve fireworks display at Manchester Cathedral in 2019, in what was said to be a record-breaking event.

Manchester councillor Pat Karney, who is the city centre spokesperson, said it is a ‘massive disappointment’ to cancel celebrations for a second year running.

He said: “We know that many people will be upset about this.

“It was a difficult decision to make but with the new Covid variant spreading quickly – and government regulations around large events – we have to put the health of our residents first.

“For those who want to indulge in festive fun, get down to the Winter Gardens and enjoy the stalls that are open until January 2.

“But think about your own safety and of those around you. It’s not to late to get your vaccine and booster to protect yourself from serious illness.”

Manchester’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display has been held in Albert Square, but this has not been possible since the renovation of the town hall started.

Two years ago, the fireworks display took place at the cathedral with crowds down Deansgate, but this is not currently an option while the Glade of Light  memorial garden commemorating the Arena attack is under construction.

This year, Winter Gardens at Piccadilly Gardens will stay open throughout the festive period, serving food and drink from 10am until 5pm on New Year’s Eve.

It also features a stage area with music and live entertainment each night.

Manchester’s Christmas Markets will close on Wednesday, December 22.

The Winter Gardens in Piccadilly closes on Sunday, January 2.

The Ice Rink in Cathedral Gardens closes on Monday, January 3.

London and Edinburgh have also announced that they have cancelled their public New Year fireworks celebrations due to uncertainty over Covid.

In light of the new Covid variant spreading rapidly in the city, Manchester council is urging people to stay safe this Christmas by testing frequently, washing hands regularly and taking up both vaccination and booster jabs.

For more information on vaccines please visit: https://secure.manchester.gov.uk/info/500362/covid-19/8079/covid-19_vaccination_programme/5

Words: Joseph Timan, Local Democracy Reporter


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