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City mayor bans New Year’s Eve fireworks citing COVID, climate

Residents in a major Italian city went viral over the weekend after violating an ordinance that barred them from using fireworks in New Year’s Eve celebrations.

What is the background?

Naples Mayor Gaetano Manfredi issued an ordinance ahead of New Year’s celebrations that enacted “the absolute ban on the use and detonation of fireworks, firecrackers, barrels, rockets and similar pyrotechnic devices, even if freely sold, throughout the city from 16:00 on 31 December 2021 to 24:00 on 1 January 2022.”

The reasons behind the ban? The COVID-19 pandemic and the environment.

A translation of Gaetano’s order explained:

“[I]n the current health emergency situation, the increase in hospitalizations, resulting from accidents caused by barrels, would represent a particular vulnerability for health professionals, already tried so much by months of pandemic. … therefore, is dutiful implement all possible actions to avoid further congesting the emergency rooms.”
“[T]hat, more and more, civil society is gaining awareness of limit disturbing noises as much as possible, as well as the increase in emissions of pollutants into the environment…”

“Taking into account that with the Prime Ministerial Decree of 14 December 2021 the state of epidemiological emergency from COVID-19 has been extended until March 31st 2022; that with subsequent ordinances the President of the Campania Region has ordered further health prevention measures with the aim, among other things, of preventing crowding or crowding phenomena,” the order continued, “it is therefore necessary to regulate the use of the aforementioned fireworks considering prevailing the need to guarantee safety and health.”

So how did residents respond?

Video taken of Naples’ skyline on New Year’s Eve showed that residents in Italy’s third-largest city rebelled against their mayor’s order, resulting in stunning displays of fireworks across the city.

By ignoring the mayor’s orders, residents faced incurring a fine of 500 Euros.

According to Naples newspaper Il Mattino, multiple people incurred injuries during New Year’s celebrations across Naples and the surrounding province.

The newspaper explained that “fireworks…greeted the arrival of the new year in Naples despite the order that prohibited them issued by the mayor, Gaetano Manfredi.”

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