Anti-lockdown demonstrators clashed with police in Italy today while French Catholics demanded the right to worship as Covid protests have broken out across Europe.
Angry protesters faced off with riot officers in Rome this afternoon, shouting and chanting to express their frustration at the latest regional lockdown measures imposed by the Italian government.
Meanwhile in France, protests took place across the country demanding the return of religious services after all were put on hold with the latest set of lockdown restrictions.
The latest lockdown measures in Italy, which came into force on November 6, mean people are only allowed to be out of their homes from 10pm to 5am for work or health reasons until December 3.
The demonstration, organised by far-right parties, including ultra-right Forza Nuova, and the No Mask movement, saw large groups of people pile into Piazza Venezia, in Rome, unable to social distance - with some not wearing masks.
Protesters attempted to barge past the police barricade at the demonstration, which was attended by the leaders of Forza Nuova, Giuliano Castellino and Roberto Fiore, with some squaring up to officers who were armed with batons and dressed in riot gear.
Antonio Pappalardo, ex brigadier general of Carabinieri and leader of Orange Jackets anti-establishment movement, was also pictured at the demonstration alongside the group.
In among the aggressive interactions with police, people were also seen waving Italian flags, holding up banners, setting off flares and one priest even celebrated mass.
Italy has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, registering more than 33,900 new infections and 546 deaths in the last 24 hours, resulting in the government launching a fresh set of restrictions on its people to slow the rate of infection.
Elsewhere, in France, Catholic protesters held scattered demonstrations around France today, holding banners reading 'Let us Pray' and 'We Want Mass'.
Demonstrators are calling for the authorities to relax coronavirus lockdown measures to allow religious services to continue.
In the western city of Nantes, hundreds gathered in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary, some kneeling on the rain-soaked pavement, according to local broadcaster France Bleu.
Similar gatherings were reported or planned in the eastern city of Strasbourg, in Bordeaux in the southwest, and outside the Saint-Louis Cathedral in Versailles.
With more confirmed virus cases than any other European country, predominantly Catholic France banned mass and other religious services for the month of November as part of nationwide partial lockdown measures.
The new restrictions are aimed at reining in infections and relieving pressure on hospitals. Churches and other religious sites remain open for individual visitors to come and pray.
France's interior minister is scheduled to meet with religious leaders Monday to discuss when and how services could again be permitted, notably amid pressure to allow Christmas ceremonies.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.