Lots of controls but no parties Bonn police prepare for unusual New Year’s Eve
Bonn · This New Year’s Eve will be different once again in Bonn. No loud parties or fireworks or huge gatherings of people in public places. Here is how police and the city are preparing for the occasion and what fines will be issued for those who violate the latest Covid Protection Ordinance.
Whether it's the New Year's Eve party in the Tanzhaus, New Year's Eve lounge in the Pantheon or the New Year's Eve parties in the large Bonn hotels such as the Königshof or the Maritim: they are all canceled. In keeping with the new Covid rules, no more than ten vaccinated or recovered people are currently allowed to get together.
The rules for the unvaccinated are even stricter: one household is only permitted to meet up with two people from another household. Both the city of Bonn and the police agree that not everyone will abide by the regulations. That's why law enforcement personnel will be stepping up their efforts on New Year's Eve, focusing especially on city squares and streets in Bonn, where larger groups are known to gather at night to celebrate. According to police spokesman Simon Rott, Bonn police are preparing for an "unusual New Year's Eve assignment", as they did on New Year's Eve 2020.
He pointed out that there are extensive contact restrictions and also a ban on firecrackers on many public streets, paths, squares and facilities in the Bonn city area. "One might assume that with these precursors we are in for a quiet New Year's Eve. Of course, we will still be out and about in the city area together with the city public order service and make sure that the regulations are observed. If this is not the case, we will firmly intervene," Rott announced.
No gatherings in key areas
The official points out that the city of Bonn has also issued a ban on gathering at key areas in public spaces, such as Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz, the banks of the Rhine or the Hofgarten park area. What happens in private spaces is normally a matter for the residents themselves: "The police will not go door to door this year to look for private celebrations with more than ten participants." However, if violations are detected while police are out on assignment, for example because of a disturbance of the peace, the police will intervene, says Rott.
Asked how many police officers will be on duty in Bonn on New Year's Eve, he replied that they were not going to give out any specific information on that. While a large number of police officers will be on duty, there are no plans to use the two video surveillance towers - one of which is currently located at the entrance to Poststrasse at Maximilianstrasse.
According to spokeswoman Barbara Löcherbach, the city of Bonn is also well prepared for New Year's Eve. The city's public order service and the police station in Bonn city center will be stepping up checks on New Year's Eve to ensure that the ban on firecrackers and the ban on gatherings are observed, she said.
In total, the city public order service and the city center police station will be out with twelve employees for doing the controls, she said. The focus should be on what is happening outdoors, including the ban on firecrackers and gatherings as well as the general contact restrictions, Löcherbach emphasized. However, if there are any indications of unauthorized private parties, the city's public order service will follow up on these in specific instances.
A complete monitoring of all parts of the city and streets will not be possible. Löcherbach: "In addition to all controls, the city continues to appeal to the insight and sense of responsibility of citizens to observe the applicable rules in order to protect themselves and others from an increased risk of infection."
Unauthorized gatherings will cost initiator 500 euros
Those who do not adhere to the rules must expect heavy fines: For example, the fine catalog of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for the Corona Protection Ordinance lists a fine of 500 euros for the host or initiator of an unauthorized gathering. Guests must pay 250 euros. In the event of a violation of the ban on firecrackers, 500 euros will be due.
For those who don't want to stay home alone on New Year's Eve and don't have an invitation to celebrate with friends in a small circle, there will still be an opportunity here and there to welcome in the new year with other people. There are New Year's Eve performances in the Pantheon (Jean Faure & son orchestra - New Year's Eve Soirée, 9:30 pm) or in the Springmaus (Onkel Fisch blickt zurück, 4:30 pm) with tickets still available, as the two managing directors of Pantheon and Springmaus, Martina Steimer and Berit Baumhoff, stressed in response to a GA inquiry on Thursday.
Steimer is a little sad that her theater had to cancel the popular New Year's Eve Lounge again: "But we already did that before the new protection ordinance came into force, because it was already clear to us then that we couldn't do it because of Covid." But people appreciated the fact that the performances at the Pantheon were allowed to take place, unlike last year.
Where firecrackers and fireworks are banned in Bonn
In accordance with the Corona Protection Ordinance of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the City of Bonn has issued a ban on firecrackers for certain squares and streets. It applies from Friday, December 31, 2021, 5 p.m., to Saturday, January 1, 2022, 6 a.m., in the following areas: Alter Zoll, Berliner Freiheit, Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz, Brassertufer, Erzbergerufer, Frankenbadplatz, Friedensplatz, Hans-Steger-Ufer, Hofgartenwiese, Kennedybrücke, Konrad-Adenauer-Platz, Kaiserplatz, Markt, Münsterplatz, Stadtgarten, Zentraler Omnibus-Bahnhof (Central Bus Station) and the associated traffic areas including the southern underpass, Maximilianstrasse and Quantiusstrasse, Theaterplatz Bad Godesberg and Tannenbusch between the streets Oppelner Strasse, Agnetendorfer Strasse, Waldenburger Ring, Kronstädter Strasse and Pommernstrasse.
The city of Bonn also points out that masks are still compulsory in designated areas in the city center on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (further info. on the city's website at www.bonn.de).
(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)