Firework stores opened for business on Thursday at the start of the three-day window in the run up to the New Year celebrations.
Shops were even open in cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where all but children’s fireworks have been banned. Both cities will stage large public displays instead.
Fireworks were banned during the two years of coronavirus but the ban was widely ignored. Nevertheless, in 12 cities, including the capital, local bans have been extended while 120 other towns have introduced firework free zones near hospitals or in residential areas.
In Apeldoorn, where all but children’s fireworks are banned, retailers report they are ‘busier than ever’. ‘I think the ban has made people more rebellious,’ seller Nathalie de Vries told broadcaster NOS.
By law, fireworks may only be set off between 6pm on December 31 and 2am on January 1.
Officially, Chinese firecrackers and rockets have been banned nationwide since 2020, as the government gradually restricted the availability of fireworks likely to cause damage and injury.
Nevertheless, this year 773 people were treated for firework related injuries during the New Year festivities, according to public safety body VeiligheidNL.
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