Fireworks remain banned in Prague’s city center on New Year’s Eve

People face a fine up to CZK 100,000 for setting off rockets or other devices in the historical center or near waterways or hospitals.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 30.12.2021 15:17:00 (updated on 30.12.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague City Hall reminds people that a ban on fireworks in the city center, on waterways, and near hospitals remains in effect on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

For many years, large crowds have gathered in Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, and Charles Bridge to set off fireworks at midnight. City Hall banned the practice last year, though a curfew was in effect that also kept people off the streets at night. This will be the first time the ban is in effect at midnight while people are allowed out.

The city decree bans the use of pyrotechnic articles in most places in the center of Prague as well as in floodplains, parks, or near hospitals and care facilities. The city is urging residents to avoid the use of rockets and other over-the-counter fireworks and to look at an interactive map that shows where it is not possible to fire pyrotechnics.

Information signs have been placed in parks and on the waterfront around the city, and an ad campaign can be seen in the streets and various media. The Municipal Police and Czech Police will supervise compliance with the decree in the streets of the capital. Violation of the prohibition is also subject to a penalty. In administrative proceedings, it is possible to impose a fine of up to CZK 100,000, and police officers may impose a fine of up to CZK 10,000 on the spot.

“In the past, the uncoordinated firing of rockets has increasingly threatened the safety and health of not only the inhabitants of the metropolis, but also the animals that live in the city. I believe that people will forgo their firing again this year, especially in the city center and near watercourses,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said.

The decree was adopted last year in order to increase the safety of the population and reduce noise, which results in the death or injury of many animals every year.

"I wish all Praguers to celebrate the end of the year according to their ideas in a circle of loved ones. At the same time, I ask for mutual consideration to avoid unnecessary injuries and unpleasant situations,” Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček, responsible for security, said.

“I see the point in regulating the use of pyrotechnics in strengthening the safety of the people and celebrants in the center, in protecting wildlife and birds, pets and, last but not least, people who need peace, whether they are in hospitals or in nursing homes. Thank you very much for your consideration and I wish you good health and well-being until the new year,” Hlubuček added.

The decree applies in the city center, on floodplains, in parks, and near hospitals and other facilities, such as homes for the elderly or veterinary stations. However, the restriction does not apply to professional fireworks, which are subject to a licensing obligation under the Pyrotechnics Act.

In particular, the use of fireworks near waterways and their surroundings, including islands, is prohibited up to a width of 50 meters from the shore, and within a radius of 250 meters from inpatient facilities for seniors and people with disabilities.

This prohibition also applies to dams, dikes, reservoirs, weirs, etc., in specially protected areas, in nature parks, within a distance of 50 meters from them, and also within a distance of 250 meters from the area of the Prague Zoo, animal shelters, and veterinary facilities. An interactive map is also available on the website that shows where this ban applies at street level.

Prague City Hall previously announced that there will be no large public fireworks show, videomapping, or similar event in the city on Jan. 1 due to the pandemic, as was also the case at the start of 2021. At the start of 2020 there was a videomapping at Wenceslas Square and a fireworks show in Prague 2 above Folimanka.

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