Amsterdam postpones New Year's fireworks ban over Covid-19
The municipality of Amsterdam decided to postpone the implementation of its ban on consumer fireworks for one year. Due to the coronavirus crisis and its accompanying measures, alternative celebrations cannot be organized effectively, mayor Femke Halsema said in a letter to the city council. She also called it "irresponsible" to ask police and enforcement officers to enforce a ban, given that they are already busier than usual enforcing coronavirus measures, NU.nl reports.
Amsterdam planned to ban consumer fireworks in the city this New Year's, due to the large number of injuries and large amounts of damage they cause every year. Instead, the city planned to hold a central fireworks show, and support smaller celebrations organized by residents. But the coronavirus threw a spanner in the works.
"Enforcement is an almost impossible task, partly due to the corona crisis," Halsema said. If the clubs in the city are still closed over New Year's, enforcement and police officers will already have their hands full with managing illegal parties. She does not want a fireworks ban added on top of that. Public resistance to the ban on fireworks has also grown over the past period, the mayor said. This increases the likelihood of people turning against police and enforcers if they are addressed on their behavior.
And with social distancing measures in place, it is impossible to organize coronavirus-proof central fireworks shows with a small budget. It will by a pricey event for only small number of people that can attend and maintain social distancing. There is also the risk that shows have to be canceled if the Covid-19 outbreak continues in the capital, she said.
The city therefore decided to postpone the implementation of this ban. The mayor hopes to be able to implement the planned changes next year.