|Customers buy fireworks at an officially permitted store in Beijing on Thursday, ahead of the Spring Festival on Feb 8. The number of such stores has been reduced by nearly 25 percent year-on-year in the city to tackle air pollution. (Cao Boyuan / for China Daily)|
Fireworks will be sold in 511 designated outlets, down 28.9 percent from last year, an official with the Beijing municipal safety supervision bureau said.
None of the outlets are located within the Third Ring Road, effectively banned the sales of fireworks downtown.
Sales of fireworks will be allowed from Jan 22 to Feb 1, according to the city's plan on fireworks sales and storage this year.
If orange and red alerts are issued for heavy air pollution, fireworks delivery and sales will be suspended, the plan said.
Chinese people traditionally light firecrackers and fireworks to celebrate Spring Festival, believing that the noise scares away evil spirits and bad luck.
However, frequent smog has prompted authorities to pay attention to the contribution of fireworks to air pollution and roll out measures accordingly.
Beijing has a four-tier alert system for pollution, with red the highest, followed by orange, yellow and blue.