Covid-19: Netherlands bans New Year's Eve fireworks amid rising cases

Rule intended "to prevent, as much as possible, extra strain on health care, law enforcement and first responders"



By AP

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 8:46 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 10:16 PM

New Year's Eve celebrations will again be muted in the Netherlands after the government banned fireworks on December 31 for the second straight year amid soaring coronavirus infections.

The ban is intended "to prevent, as much as possible, extra strain on health care, law enforcement and first responders," the government said Friday.

The number of people treated for fireworks-related injuries dropped by 70 per cent last year, the government said, in a welcome relief for Dutch hospitals already overburdened by Covid-19 patients.

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A financial compensation package will be put in place for fireworks sellers hit for the second time by a ban. Fireworks are only sold in the Netherlands in the days leading up to New Year's Eve. On the night, people traditionally take to the streets to set off fireworks around midnight.

The government said that firework shows organized by municipalities are not covered by the ban and can go ahead if coronavirus restrictions allow it. Infections are rising steeply in the Netherlands and the government already has imposed a partial lockdown due to last at least two more weeks.


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