PUBS and social clubs in the borough have been instructed to avoid holding organised fireworks displays for Bonfire Night amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents are also advised not to hold their own private displays and gatherings in back gardens.

Dudley Council bosses say such events could help transmission of coronavirus at a time when cases are already on the rise in the borough.

The council has taken the decision to cancel this year’s Himley Bonfire - which attracts up to 20,000 people – to comply with social distancing guidelines to help keep people safe.

Instead a free firework extravaganza will be put on by the authority for residents across the borough to enjoy from their doorsteps on Thursday November 5.

People will be able to see the seven-minute Light Up Dudley display - which will be accompanied by music played on Black Country Radio - at 8pm.

Fireworks will be let off from six unspecified vantage points across the borough so they can be viewed by all.

Key buildings across the borough, including Russells Hall Hospital, will also be lit up between 6.30pm and 8.30pm to pay tribute to the work of NHS and frontline staff in the fight against coronavirus.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said: "We are aiming for full borough coverage, so hopefully people will be able to step outside their homes, wherever they live, and see a free firework display safely.

"The display will also be streamed live on social media to make double sure we don’t miss anyone out.

"We are doing this so other people don’t have to."

He urged people not to hold their own firework displays this year and added: "With cases of coronavirus on the rise, it’s critical we do all we can to stop the spread of the virus in the borough. That means avoiding where possible large-scale public gatherings of people from different households.

"If we all follow the rules, we can all get back to something approaching normality much quicker."