Prague welcomes 2022 with isolated celebrations

Despite a ban on fireworks in the historical center of Prague, police and firefighters responded to numerous fireworks-related incidents in the city.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 01.01.2022 09:55:00 (updated on 01.01.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Despite a ban on setting off fireworks within the historical center of Prague, hundreds of people gathered at Old Town and Wenceslas Squares in the Czech capital to ring in the new year as the clock struck midnight. Police and firefighters responded to a handful of incidents at both locations involving fireworks.

While many of the celebrants were tourists, the number of visitors coming to Prague for the holidays was lower than in previous years. According to Prague City Tourism, an estimated 60,000 visitors came to Prague to celebrate New Year's Eve, significantly fewer than in the years before the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite calls from Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Válek to avoid unnecessary contacts, many took to the streets last night due to favorable weather conditions during one of the warmest New Year's Eves in Czech history.

For the first time in sixteen years, Prague's Emergency Medical Services did not deploy special protocol for dealing with mass disasters on New Year's Eve, instead handling incidents from a central tent on Wenceslas Square and two EMS teams at both Wenceslas and Old Town squares.

Emergency Medical Services responded to a total of 25 incidents across the city related to New Year's Eve celebrations, according to information posted to social media. Eleven people in the center of Prague were treated for injuries, including five caused by fireworks.

Firefighters in the Czech capital responded to 57 fires caused by fireworks on New Year's Eve, including 37 in the first two hours of 2022, according to information posted to social media. Many of the fires were the result of improperly-disposed fireworks in waste containers.

No major incidents were reported, but the number of fires caused by fireworks was much higher than last year, when firefighters responded to 18 fires on New Year's Eve.

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Police in the Prague detained four people on Wenceslas Square related to New Year's Eve celebrations, and responded to numerous other incidents across the city, according to police spokesperson Violeta Siřišťová.

Traditional New Year's Day celebrations in Prague organized by the city have been cancelled today due to the coronavirus pandemic; they were also cancelled last year. The city traditionally held a fireworks show each year, but had recently planned alternative videomapping shows due to environmental concerns.

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