NHS frontline workers will help mark the beginning of the festive season in Manchester and turn on the city’s Christmas lights.

The normal switch-on event - which attracts more than 20,000 people into the city centre - will not go ahead this year due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions. 

However, determined to mark the start of the season in the city, the Council is working with BBC Radio Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust to choose three NHS key workers from their Hospitals across the city to do the honour. 

The small, socially-distanced event will take place on Tuesday, 17 November and will be live on BBC Radio Manchester and live streamed on social media for people to enjoy safely from home. 

Last week, the Council confirmed the festive events that could not go ahead - including the usual Christmas Lights Switch-on event and the fireworks event on New Year’s Eve. 

However, there will be Christmas Lights in the city centre as usual, and of course the Giant Santa will return - along with a trail of light sculptures through the city. 

The Skate Manchester ice rink in Cathedral Gardens - which can limit entry numbers to ensure social distancing - will go ahead and tickets can be booked at www.skatemanchester.com

And tickets for Lightopia in Heaton Park - an award-winning lantern and light festival - are already on sale at www.lightopiafestival.com

To note: all events are subject to covid regulations and restrictions, and could be affected if local Covid-19 guidelines change. 

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