With only a few days left before the New Year’s Eve celebrations begin, the City of Johannesburg’s Emergency Management Services (EMS) team issued out a warning. The team calls on residents to “exercise caution” as they celebrate.
Even though this year’s lockdown and restrictions are less harsh than 2020, this will be the second year that the country celebrates a new year under different and unusual circumstances.
And as the country remains on Leve 1 restrictions for now the EMS is reminding citizens that there is a limit on gatherings and a curfew between midnight and four in the morning.
EMS discusses regulations around fireworks
An EMS spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi, spoke out regarding the restrictions.
“Following the adjusted Alert level 1 regulations, we call on our residents to conduct celebrations of the advent of the new year differently and responsibly at the comfort of their homes,” Mulaudzi says.
“The year in many fronts has been a difficult and different one, thus we must not let our guard down, all in the name of a New Year’s Eve celebration.
“The culture of igniting fireworks is traditionally done in forms of a larger group, which is highly discouraged by Alert level 1 regulations, as such gatherings can serve as Covid-19 super spreader events.
“Therefore, we implore our residents to be extra careful when igniting fireworks, while avoiding gathering in groups.”
Law enforcement to be extra vigilant until Friday
It is also expected for law enforcement to conduct bylaws enforcement operations until Friday, 31 December. This will target wholesalers, dealers, and distributors to ensure that everyone is complying with fire service regulations.
“We will also remain on high alert overnight on New Year’s Eve,” Mulaudzi says.
Designated times are set aside for fireworks
Residents are also reminded that setting off fireworks is illegal and subject to a hefty fine if it is not done at the designated times.
The times are from 23:00 to 01:00 on New Year’s Eve and 19:00 to 22:00 on New Year’s Day.