Looks like 2021 won’t be ending with a bang after all

Manchester City Council has decided to cancel its New Year’s Eve firework display due to the ongoing advice and guidance regarding large-scale outdoor events and COVID. 

Due to the open nature of this event, and the sheer volume of Mancs expected to attend the celebration, the council emphasises that it “would prove extremely challenging to manage due to the open and public nature of the event”. 

Other major UK cities such as London and Edinburgh have also recently announced that their public New Year’s celebrations have been cancelled

This news follows the government’s advice regarding the use of vaccine passports to gain access to outdoor events with large capacities.

Councillor Pat Karney has admitted “it was a difficult decision to make” when asked about the cancellation, however; he assures that “we have to put the health of our residents first”.

Manchester Winter Village In Piccadilly Gardens 2021
There is still seasonal city centre fun to be had at Piccadilly's Winter Gardens Image: Mark Waugh via Manchester Christmas Markets

Christmas is still on - but what about NYE?

Although these measures may seem pre-emptive on behalf of Manchester City Council as Boris Johnson has decided against the implementation of any further measures before Christmas, New Year's Eve restrictions still appear to hang in the balance.  

The Conservative party's care minister Gillian Keegan told The Guardian, “There is uncertainty. So if you can’t change your [New Year’s Eve] plans quickly, then maybe think about it”. Other major UK cities such as London and Edinburgh have also recently announced that their public New Year’s celebrations have been cancelled.

With the government urging us to carefully consider who we spend time with over the Christmas period and guidance encouraging regular testing, mask-wearing and hand washing to prevent the spread of Omicron, more events of this size are likely to be affected.

Vaccination Booking From Manchester City Council
You can now book your vaccine over the phone from Monday to Friday Image: Andy Burnham @MayorofGM

Other Xmas and New Year events still going ahead in Manchester

Although the cancellation of the New Year firework display may suggest that Manchester’s larger-scale festive fun is over and done with, the Winter Gardens in Piccadilly is still bringing all things merry and bright until Sunday 2 January, with stalls, live music, and entertainment running from 10am til 5pm on New Year’s Eve. If you still feel like getting your skates on, then the ice rink in Cathedral Gardens is open until Monday 3 January.

With COVID dominating just about every aspect of our Xmas countdown for the second year running (sigh), Manchester City Council urges people to think of both their own safety and that of others as a priority. Taking up both vaccinations and getting a booster jab as soon as you can is one of the key ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and this can be done via the NHS website or by calling the new Manchester-based vaccination hotline at 0161 608 4304 which is open from 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday.

If you still plan to go out for dinner on New Year's Eve, we've made a handy list of NYE dining options in Manchester

Whatever you're doing, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. 

Read next: Auld Lang Dine: where to eat in Manchester on New Year’s Eve

Read again: Ways to support local Manchester charities this Christmas

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