Manchester City Council reluctantly announced that the eight bonfire and fireworks events organized by the City Council will not take place this year.
The decision is based on current government advice that large outdoor events with dense crowds should require attendees to provide evidence of their Covid status, either that they have been vaccinated or that they have tested negative.
This would require the provision of significant additional infrastructure and security and would make the events impractical, especially if all participants arrive and depart within a concentrated period of time.
As Covid-19 infection rates continue to rise locally and nationally, there is also the possibility that these types of Covid-19 passport agreements could become mandatory, the council says.
Rabnawaz Akbar City Council, neighborhood executive member, said:
“We did not make this decision easy for ourselves and I know that many people looking forward to these events will be disappointed, especially if we were unable to host them last year due to coronavirus restrictions.
“But the health of the people in Manchester and the logistical considerations involved must come first. Concerns about high Covid infection rates, especially among children and adolescents, who would traditionally make up the majority of the attendance at such events, must also be taken into account.
“This is not a blanket ban on fireworks events in the city. We would support externally organized, pre-booked events, provided they have appropriate Covid management plans in place. But it does mean that we just won’t be able to host the free events in our parks without a ticket.
“We encourage anyone planning to buy their own fireworks to do so safely and responsibly, and as usual we will work with partner agencies to spread safety messages and prevent antisocial behavior.”