Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in some of Europe’s largest cities against coronavirus restrictions that were imposed amid the resurgence of the infection in the continent.
The European governments have implemented tighter regulations to contain the coronavirus outbreak that has so far killed more than 841,549 and infected some 24,917,151, across the globe, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
In the German capital Berlin, some 38,000 people participated in protests on Saturday, despite the government ban on such rallies.
Videos showed crowds marching in the streets while flouting public safety measures. Police arrested some 300 people in separate rallies in the city.
Authorities ordered one group near the Brandenburg Gate to disperse for breaking safety measures.
Police then arrested some 200 people whom it said were far-right extremists trying to storm the parliament building.
Police said several protesters had broken through a cordon in front of the parliament and entered the staircase of the Reichstag building, but not the building itself.
“Stones and bottles were thrown at our colleagues,” police said. “Force had to be used to push them back.”
"Unfortunately, we have no other option," Berlin police said on Twitter. "All the measures taken so far have not led to compliance with the conditions."
The coronavirus infection rate has been growing in Germany with new case numbers having reached an uptick since April.
Similar rallies were held in other European cities, including London, Paris, Vienna and Zurich.
In London demonstrators gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest against the government’s coronavirus restrictions.
They held up signs reading "masks are muzzles" and "new normal = new fascism.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said ministers could not rule out "extensive local lockdowns" or "further national action" in the event of a second wave during the winter.
He said the UK could be battling bad flu and a growth in COVID-19 as people spend more time indoors.
The government reported 12 new fatalities from the coronavirus, pushing the death toll to 41,498.
Some 1,108 new cases were also confirmed, bringing the total number of infections to 332,752.
In Paris, some 300 people gathered to protest against the government decision to make mask wearing compulsory in all public areas.
"I am simply a citizen angry against the freedom restricting measures which have no medical justification," said a protester.
France health ministry described the virus resurgence as “worrying,” after it reported 5,453 new confirmed cases on Saturday.
Some 1,000 people took to the streets in the Swiss city of Zurich, calling for a "return to freedom." Similar protests were held in Vienna.
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