Fines for New Year’s Eve divisions in Prague

With the arrival of the New Year, the capital city will test its ordinance on pyrotechnics, according to which the illegal firing of cannonballs, flares, and fireworks is punishable by a fine of CZK 10,000 on the spot and up to ten times that amount in administrative proceedings.

Prague tightened its pyrotechnics ordinance in 2020, but it has not yet made much of an impact in practice, as the COVID-19 pandemic hampered the New Year celebrations.

However, tourists have already returned to Prague, and the capital city has also attracted them with a campaign for the holidays. The arrival of 2023 will probably be the first big test for the Prague decree.

According to the norm, which was drafted mainly by the former deputy mayor Petr Hlubuček (formerly of STAN) and councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová (now of the ODS), freely sold pyrotechnics cannot be used in the Prague Monument Reserve and many other places.

These include the vicinity of watercourses, islands, natural areas, and areas less than a quarter of a kilometer from health facilities, homes for the elderly, zoos, and animal shelters. The map can be found on the website, according to the municipality’s spokesman, Vit Hofman.

A provision that said fireworks and cannons were allowed on December 31 and January 1 has disappeared from an earlier version of the ordinance. The capital will not be ringing with fireworks or video mapping in the New Year.

“We abandoned those celebrations several months ago in view of the conflict in Ukraine, and at present, when not only the people of Prague but also the city have to save money, we did not find it appropriate to hold fireworks or other celebrations,” Hofman said.