Germany issues another New Year's Eve fireworks ban

Germany issues another New Year's Eve fireworks ban

No matter whether you love them or hate them, fireworks will be mostly absent this New Year’s Eve in Germany, after the government opted to once again ban sales around the holiday

Ban on firework sales around New Year’s Eve

At the press conference on Thursday 2, the German government made the announcement that it would ban the sale of fireworks around New Year’s Eve, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The intention is to help support the emergency services, who are typically kept busy on December 31 dealing with injuries and other incidents. 

The federal and state leaders also agreed to a ban on large gatherings for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but it will be left up to individual municipalities to decide where exactly these will be. 

“New Years Eve celebrations not only lead to more infections but also to further strain on hospitals,” said the mayor of Hamburg, Peter Tschentscher. 

Environmentalists happy; fireworks manufacturers livid

Reactions to the ban have been mixed. While animal and environmental organisations, among others, are happy to hear that noisy firecrackers will mostly be absent on December 31, others have expressed disappointment that a beloved New Year’s Eve tradition will once again fall by the wayside. 

Fireworks dealers and manufacturers - who make up to 90 percent of their annual sales on the last three days of the year - are understandably dismayed, saying that the decision will drive the industry towards ruin. 

They have further criticised the government’s reasoning as unsound. “The ban on selling small fireworks is purely a symbolic policy,” said Ingo Schubert, board member of the German Pyrotechnics Association (BVPK). “The available figures show that a ban will not noticeably relieve emergency admissions, nor will infection rates be effectively reduced.” 

Environment Action Germany (DUH), on the other hand, has been campaigning for years for a fireworks ban on New Year’s Eve, together with the German union of police, some doctors, and animal rights activists. DUH Managing Director Jürgen Resch described the government’s decision as “reason” prevailing, and called for fireworks to be banned in future years as well. 

In 2020, Germany also banned the sale of fireworks, in a bid to ease the strain on the healthcare system



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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