BERLIN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 03rd December, 2021) The German Federal and regional authorities have agreed on Thursday to ban large gatherings and the sale of fireworks during New Year’s celebrations over concerns of overburdening the country’s healthcare system.
“A ban on gatherings will be in place during the New Year’s period. In addition, a ban will be imposed on the launch of fireworks in places that will be determined by the municipal authorities. The sale of pyrotechnics before St. Sylvester’s Day (December 31) will be altogether prohibited this year. It is advised not to launch fireworks due to a high risk of injury and the strain it will put on the already struggling healthcare system,” the document, adopted at a meeting between acting Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of German regions, read.
Companies affected by the bans will be reimbursed by the authorities, according to the document.
Similar measures were adopted last year. In Berlin, 54 zones were identified as firework-free, and patrolled by extra police units. City residents still launched fireworks on a much smaller scale than pre-pandemic, however, according to a Sputnik correspondent. The fact was later confirmed by the firefighting services, which reported a nearly two-time drop in emergency calls on New Year’s Eve compared to previous years.