Beijing bans fireworks ahead of festive season to improve air quality

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Beijing officials on Friday banned fireworks in the smog-choked Chinese capital to combat air pollution ahead of the festive season, state media reported. Residents in the city proper will not be allowed to set off fireworks on the Lunar New Year, the country’s most important festival for family reunion. Many people celebrate the seven-day-long holiday with fireworks.

A regulation on fireworks safety and management was passed today by the standing committee of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress. According to the regulation, setting off fireworks will be banned within the Fifth Ring Road of Beijing.

In addition, district authorities outside the Fifth Ring Road can set fixed areas where fireworks are banned or restricted, Xinhua news agency reported.

In restricted areas outside the Fifth Ring Road, fireworks are allowed only on the eve and the first day of the Lunar New Year, as well as from 7 AM to midnight from the second day to the fifteenth day of the Lunar New Year.

National and municipal celebrations and holidays that require official fireworks displays will be approved and announced by the Beijing municipal government.

According to an official with the legal affairs office of the Beijing municipal government, dozens of people were injured or killed in firework-triggered accidents during the Chinese Lunar New Year period between 2015 and 2017.

The number of heavy air pollution days during the seven-day festival reached two to four days each year in the past five years, the official added.

China has vowed to take concrete steps and employ more stringent and effective measures to deal with outstanding environmental problems and improve environment quality.

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