New Year’s Eve in Bratislava will be silent

The city re-enforces a ban on amateur pyrotechnics.

Bratislava streets with Christmas decorations during curfew.Bratislava streets with Christmas decorations during curfew. (Source: SME - Jozef Jakubčo)

This year there will be neither the traditional New Year’s celebrations nor fireworks in the Slovak capital. The Bratislava City Council has scrapped the programme due to the worsening pandemic situation.

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“Meeting more people to watch the fireworks would be dangerous to one's health and to people in need as a result of the coronavirus crisis. New Year’s Eve fireworks would also be a bad signal of a waste of city money,” Bratislava’s spokesperson Katarína Rajčanová wrote in a press release. “We therefore recommend welcoming the New Year in Bratislava with only your loved ones, as a sign of your own responsibility.”

This will also be a sign of consideration and solidarity towards health professionals who are saving the lives of the sick in difficult conditions.

“The capacity of hospitals and the energy of health professionals is not unlimited and we will still need it very much,” wrote Rajčanová.

The city council is reminding people that the usage of amateur pyrotechnics is prohibited in Bratislava, including on New Year’s Eve. Only sparklers up to 40 cm, Roman candles and squibs are allowed.

During New Year’s Eve, strengthened patrols of the city and state police will monitor the behaviour of people in the streets of Bratislava. Rajčanová reminded people that as the state of emergency has been prolonged, the curfew remains and the police will check possible gatherings of larger groups of people, whether people are wearing coverings over their mouths and noses and whether restaurants and pubs are respecting the rules on closure. They will check publicly accessible places where the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited as well.

“We are all going through difficult times, so we ask all Bratislava residents, as well as people who come to visit Bratislava at the turn of the year, to behave in such a way that the situation does not worsen as a result of one wasted night and so that we can welcome the New Year as a year of hope, in which our lives will return to normal,” wrote Rajčanová.

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