Manchester’s New Year’s Eve fireworks in previous years Credit: Shutterstock
Manchester City 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.
What’s been said about the decision?
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 2 January.
“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.
For a full guide to the Christmas markets’ opening times and locations see here.
Where else is affected?
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 City Council is urging people to stay safe this Christmas by testing frequently, washing hands regularly and taking up both vaccination and booster jabs.