From Iceland — Sales Period For Fireworks To Be Reduced

Sales Period For Fireworks To Be Reduced

Published October 15, 2020

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Fireworks will only be allowed for a total of 20 hours during New Year’s celebrations, if a new bill from The Minister or Justice is approved, Stundin reports.

The sale of fireworks will also be restricted to just three days each year: the 30th and 31st of December and the 6th of January. The Minister of Justice, Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, has presented the bill in the government’s consultation portal. Larger fireworks will only be allowed to be used from 4pm New Year’s Eve until 2am New Year’s Day, and then again from 4pm til 10pm on New Year’s Day and 4pm til 10pm on January 6th. Category A fireworks, which cause little danger and noise pollution, can be used year round.

The Minister of Justice, Minister of Health and Minster of the Environment and Natural Resources initially presented the proposal in January, with the aim of reducing the negative effects caused by fireworks on public health, air quality and animal welfare.

People who suffer form respiratory illnesses are advised to stay indoors on New Year’s Eve, due to the elevated pollution caused by fireworks, and the harmful materials they contain. Þorsteinn Jóhannsson, an air quality expert, suggests that the high point of pollution is from noon on New Year’s Eve until noon on New Year’s Day, with a peak in the first hour after midnight.

The banning of fireworks is a hot topic in Iceland, with public polls in past years suggesting that the majority of the public in Iceland would like to see them banned altogether. If an outright ban is not implemented, people are encouraged to limit their use of fireworks as much as they can.

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