Bonfire Night in 2020

There really is no safe way to hold bonfire and firework events this year without putting people at risk of catching, and potentially increasing the spread of, the virus. Is the gamble worth it for a few minutes of fireworks?

No organised bonfire and firework events are allowed to take place and the emergency services and local authorities are asking people not to create their own, unofficial events which, break current Covid 19 legislation, risk further spread of the virus and also greatly increase the risk of accidents and injuries.

You must be 18 to purchase fireworks and it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks (including sparklers) in the street or other public places. You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90. Local Councils and the Police have additional powers to tackle the misuse of fireworks in communities and action will be taken against anyone found to be involved in any form of anti-social behaviour.

“Al Garthwaite, councillor for Headingley, Hyde Park and part of Woodhouse, said:

“It is very disappointing that two of the highlights of the year cannot go ahead as usual, but it’s vitally important that we all stay safe while the pandemic remains with us.  I am sure that everyone will play their part and seek to celebrate in different ways.  We can still carve pumpkins, make decorations and make the days special, but for this one year, different.”

Fire service District Commander for Bradford, Benjy Bush said:

“It’s very important that people take note of our safety advice and do not have a bonfire in their back gardens.  There’s always the potential for fire to spread or people to be injured by fireworks. This is really not worth the risk, and it is not worth the risk of putting extra strain on the emergency services and NHS at this critical time.’’

Superintendent Mark Jessop, of Bradford District Police, said: “This year is going to be a lot different from any other year …we urge people to continue to follow the guidance and lockdown restrictions which are in place.”

Safer Leeds echo this statement saying, ‘’Many events held traditionally will not be able to take place this year due to Covid-19. We would like all of our communities to play their part and protect the health and wellbeing of themselves and others, by following closely the government guidelines that are in place.’’

Events that had been scheduled to take place in Nottingham have also been cancelled.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “Bonfire Night is one of our most popular free events, valued by many Nottingham residents. I’m therefore really disappointed to have to announce its cancellation… Our Events team have again considered a variety of approaches to try to find a way of hosting Bonfire Night and the accompanying two firework displays, but in light of the latest Government rules on large scale public gatherings there was just no way we could do that safely.’’


We know this will be a huge disappointment for many people but we have to continue to make the safety of our tenants and the wider community our main priority.

We would ask all our tenants to consider their personal and collective responsibility and have fun in alternative ways. 

The link here contains some fun ideas for traditional Bonfire Night food such as parkin cake, toffee apples and treacle toffee!

Above all, we do want everyone to enjoy the celebrations and stay safe.

Have a fun, fire-free and safe Bonfire Night.

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