Turn of the year – Düsseldorf – several large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia are planning a ban on firecrackers on New Year’s Eve – panorama

Düsseldorf (dpa / lnw) – In several large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia there should be a no-gun zone on New Year’s Eve for security reasons. Of the ten largest cities in the most populous federal state, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bielefeld intend to do so, according to a dpa survey. Cologne and Düsseldorf in particular are expecting many visitors in the city center at the turn of the year. They are also personally prepared for the New Year’s Eve celebrations with the security service. Other large cities refer to the general restrictions on setting off fireworks and to the changed corona situation after there were pandemic-related restrictions on New Year’s Eve of the previous two years.

A firecracker ban zone will probably be set up in Cologne on the same scale as last year, said a spokeswoman for the largest city in the state. More details will be coordinated between the regulatory and security authorities. How big the rush will be on New Year’s Eve also depends on the Corona situation. “If the numbers are low and there are therefore no restrictions, we expect a rush like before the pandemic,” it said. Measures and the deployment of personnel would be planned accordingly. For example, on New Year’s Eve 2019, the security concept provided for a fireworks-free zone around Cologne Cathedral from 6 p.m. No firecrackers, rockets or other fireworks such as sparklers may be taken into this area. From 10 p.m. there was an extended firecracker-free area in Cologne.

In Düsseldorf there will be a ban on carrying and burning fireworks in the old town at the turn of the year, said a spokeswoman for the state capital. It is to apply from December 31, 8:00 p.m. to January 1, 6:00 a.m. It is currently assumed that the old town will again be visited by numerous people to celebrate. The public order office will show its presence in the old town area with “appropriate use of force”, she said. In the general decree published in the Official Journal on Saturday, the no-gun zone was again justified with safety aspects such as thousands of people in a confined space and insufficient distance. The city referred, among other things, to injuries caused by fireworks in the past and to the fact that even fireworks had been thrown at them.

“As in previous years, the city of Bielefeld is planning to order a no-gun zone on the boulevard over New Year’s Eve by general decree,” said a spokeswoman for the city. This will be prepared in coordination with the police. A rush is to be expected on the boulevard. In addition, the development is narrow and there are many restaurants there. “This can lead to dangerous situations due to large crowds of people,” she explained.

The city of Essen refers to basic rules such as that the burning of pyrotechnic objects in the immediate vicinity of churches, hospitals, children’s and old people’s homes as well as particularly fire-sensitive buildings such as thatched roof and half-timbered houses and petrol stations is prohibited all year round. A large rush in downtown Essen is not expected. There are no central celebrations on New Year’s Eve. The city spokeswoman said it was more likely that there would be decentralized celebrations in the districts.

Münster also refers to the general legal provisions on fireworks. So far, these have been sufficient in Münster, said a spokeswoman for the city. According to the current state of knowledge in Münster, further regulations are not necessary. A no-gun zone is not planned.

A spokesman for the city said there will be no separate no-fire zone in Wuppertal this year either. The firecrackers are not concentrated in one particular place, he explained.

According to a spokeswoman, the city of Bonn does not intend to impose a “ban on firecrackers” over New Year’s Eve this year, “given the current corona protection ordinance of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the current infection situation.” Restrictions to protect against corona are currently not justified, especially for meetings outdoors. This assessment also fits into the overall picture of the current regulations, which also allow larger private New Year’s Eve parties and New Year’s events indoors without restrictions on persons to protect against infection.

Bochum also refers to the changed specifications. “The previous firecracker bans were based on explicit regulations to contain the corona pandemic or special decrees or legal situations,” said a spokesman. Traditionally, people would come together in squares in the city center on New Year’s Eve. The deployment of law enforcement officers will be planned as in the years before the pandemic.

Duisburg is currently not planning a firecracker ban zone. “We don’t expect a large crowd in the old town,” added a city spokesman. That was also the case before the pandemic.

In Dortmund, talks about planning and preparations for New Year’s Eve are still ongoing, said a city spokesman.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:221112-99-489213/3