PEOPLE with tickets for Leicester’s Bonfire Night celebrations are being asked to take a quick COVID-19 test before attending the event at Abbey Park on Saturday (6 Nov) – and to take another test on Sunday night (7 Nov), before returning to their workplace or school.
With infection rates on the rise, the city council has reduced the capacity of Saturday’s event and cancelled the planned stage programme to prevent people from gathering in one place, but now Leicester’s director of public health is reminding people that there are things they can do too to help keep themselves and their community safe.
“While the risk of transmission at an outdoor event is much lower than in an indoor space, the virus can easily be passed on when people are close together,” said Professor Ivan Browne.
“That’s why we’re asking people to take a quick lateral flow test before attending a Bonfire Night event, just to make sure they’re not carrying the virus without realising it.
“We’re also asking people – from primary school age upwards – to test again on Sunday night, to make sure they’re not taking the virus into their school or workplace on Monday morning.
“To further reduce the risk of transmission at Bonfire Night, we’re also asking anyone with any cold or flu-like symptoms to stay at home, even if they’ve had a negative COVID test.
“Wearing a face covering whenever you’re in a crowded space – whether that’s indoors or outdoors – is a really good idea, and don’t forget that regular hand-washing is an important part of your COVID-19 defences.
“But the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones is to make sure that you’re fully vaccinated against COVI9-19, so please get your jabs, if you haven’t already done so.
“With infection rates on the rise again, as we’d expect as we head into winter, it’s important that we all do what we can to reduce transmission. And if we follow these simple guidelines, Bonfire Night should be a great, and safe, family night out.”
Tickets for Saturday’s Bonfire Night event have been capped at 8,000 to ensure there’s plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the show safely, and the council has also employed additional marshals to manage any crowding issues and help keep people safe.
All tickets have now been sold for the event – and people are reminded that no one without a ticket will be admitted to the park.
For those with tickets, the fun starts at 5pm on Saturday, when the funfair and food stalls in Abbey Park will open. Instead of a live stage programme, a mixture of music and live feeds will be played on three big screens around the event site from 6pm, with the children’s firework display and the lighting of the bonfire due to take place at 6.45pm. A countdown to the spectacular main firework display will start at 8pm.
Deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “We were all so disappointed that last year’s event couldn’t take place because of the pandemic, so I’m delighted that our Bonfire Night event is back with fireworks and fun for all ages.
“But let’s make sure it’s a safe event too. Please follow the advice from our director of public health and let’s celebrate Bonfire Night as safely as we can.”
People are reminded that no sparklers, fireworks or alcohol can be brought onto the site – and only assistance dogs can be admitted.
No parking will be available in Abbey Park, Abbey Park Road, St Margaret’s Pastures car park or in the surrounding areas during the event, and visitors are encouraged to walk, use public transport or cycle to the event, using the bike parks on site.
A limited number of spaces for Blue Badge holders are available nearby, but these must be booked in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the team on 0116 454 3600.
For advice on cycling and walking routes, visit www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk