Amsterdam has decided to allow fireworks on New Year’s Eve just one last time. Mayor Femke Halsema sympathises with the city’s residents who have been unable to celebrate many traditions this year due to coronavirus. She also fears that police would be unable to enforce the ban given that they will be busier than usual.
In February, Amsterdam declared a complete ban on fireworks due to the alarming safety hazards that it has been causing for years. Of course, this was before the reality of coronavirus had really sunken in, and now New Year’s Eve will have a whole new string of issues.
Hands full for police
Since night clubs will remain closed, the mayor fears many illegal large parties will be taking place as the clock ticks over into 2021, reports NU.nl. Halsema admits that controlling such illegal gatherings as well as the ban on fireworks would be almost impossible to manage.
The ban on fireworks in February caused a public outcry which led to lawsuits being filed by those selling fireworks. Halsema believes that once the ban is fully in place, police will be met with resistance from those looking to hold onto traditions. So instead, the municipality aims to only enforce firework bans near animal shelters and hospitals, in order to free up personnel for dealing with illegal gatherings.
Bringing the firework ban back
Mayor Halsema hopes to implement the full ban once again next year by amending the General Local Regulation (APV). In the meantime, if corona numbers continue to rise, small gatherings may not be permitted at all by New Year’s Eve. Amsterdam has typically had some of the highest numbers in the country, so controlling large gatherings will be critical.
Do you agree with postponing the ban on fireworks? Let us know in the comments below.
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