swans in Prague, Source: Swans are among the animals that receive most injuries by New Year’s Eve celebrations. Photo by Dimitry Anikin on Unsplash

Ahead of New Year’s Eve, Prague issues a reminder on the ban on pyrotechnics

Ahead of New Year’s Eve, Prague issues a reminder on the ban on pyrotechnics

Learn more about the new rules, effective since December

Earlier this month the City of Prague adopted a decree banning the use of most types of pyrotechnic items, such as fireworks and rockets, in the majority of the city centre and other public spaces. As no exception was made for New Year’s Eve, the Czech capital decided to remind its residents and visitors of the places where they are not allowed to set off such items and what could the consequences be in the case of non-compliance.

No fireworks on New Year’s Eve in these places in Prague

On 18 December Prague introduced restrictions on the use of pyrotechnics with the objective to protect the safety of the human and animal populations, as well as to limit the related noise pollution. The decree is based on the negative experiences stemming from the use of pyrotechnic products in parts of Prague, especially in the city centre, on embankments, in parks and near hospitals and other facilities, such as the homes for the elderly.

By introducing the ban, the Czech capital follows in the footsteps of other European cities (and entire countries), that banned the use of fireworks to prevent accidents and avoid putting an additional strain on the overburdened healthcare systems.

According to the new rules, as of this December, it is forbidden to use pyrotechnic items:

  • in a monument reserve;
  • on watercourses, islands in such watercourses and on land adjacent to the watercourse bed, within a width of up to 50 meters from the shoreline;
  • within 250 meters of in-patient facilities, homes for the elderly or homes for the disabled;
  • on dams, dikes, weirs and reservoirs and within 50 meters of them;
  • in specially protected areas and within a distance of 50 meters from such areas;
  • in nature parks and within 50 meters of such;
  • within a distance of 250 meters from the premises of the Zoological Garden, animal shelters and veterinary emergency facilities.

To help its citizens and tourists respect the restrictions, the capital has placed signs in parks and on embankments and prepared an interactive map of the abovementioned places. Furthermore, on the entire territory of the city, it is forbidden to use products with heated air or hot gases from an airborne flame generator. Examples include flying lanterns, flying wishes, etc.

The police will be strictly following that rules are adhered to and will be issuing administrative penalties in case of non-compliance. These can go as high as CZK 100 000 (3800 euros).

It is worth mentioning, however, that over-the-counter (consumer) pyrotechnic articles and professional fireworks are still permitted, subject to licensing.

The Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib appealed to his constituents to celebrate New Year's Eve in the circle of their loved ones and to perceive this day as an opportunity to evaluate the past challenging year. The authorities had already set an example back in summer when they announced that there will be no fireworks show on the occasion of the arrival of 2021.



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