With the omicron coronavirus variant spreading fast, German lawmakers have said they did not want to risk increasing the burden on overwhelmed hospitals with injuries caused by fireworks.

Germany is in the midst of a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic – and the health minister just said he’s worried a bad fifth wave is on its way. With hospitals concerned about being overwhelmed, they don’t have time to deal with the injuries that crop up every year due to fireworks accidents.

Many Germans are enthusiastic about blasting off fireworks as one year gives way to another, turning whole neighbourhoods into pyrotechnic shows at the end of the year.

Opponents argue it makes residential areas feel like war zones and doctors point to a regular upsurge in injuries as firecrackers go off in users’ hands or blast off towards individuals.

The Bundesrat’s action makes official a rule agreed upon by the Cabinet earlier this month.

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