Berlin police halt 'anti-corona' march

Berlin police halt 'anti-corona' march

But before the march reached its final destination in the Tiergarten, the police shut down the protest, saying that demonstrators were not following social distancing rules.

In London, several hundred demonstrators gathered in Trafalgar Square calling coronavirus a hoax and demanding an end to restrictions.

Berlin's mayor Michael Muller defended the ban, citing concerns that protesters did not plan to observe social distancing rules and would undoubtedly spread the virus at a time when cases have already been rising. The spokeswoman said that the police are not allowing the protest to start because many demonstrators are not wearing face masks.

Police in Berlin on Friday requested thousands of reinforcements from other parts of Germany to cope with planned protests over the weekend by people opposed to the country's coronavirus restrictions.

The ruling while asking for social distancing and barriers in front of the stages where speeches will be held didn't mandate wearing masks as guidelines for the protest.

"Unfortunately, we have no other option: We approached the leader of the demonstration and informed him that his meeting would be dissolved by the police", police said on Twitter.

Covid-19 cases have been ticking up in Germany with new infections hovering near four-month highs, raising the prospect of a return to stricter lockdown measures.

Police had vowed to turn out in force and strictly monitor compliance with mask-wearing and social distancing at the protest.

Thousands of people took to the streets of the capital, including a large contingent of far-right groups and members identifying with the US-based right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon.

The UK continues to see a rise in coronavirus infection rates, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock telling British media Saturday that further nationwide restrictions can not be ruled out.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that fighting the coronavirus pandemic will be more hard in coming months as thousands gathered in Berlin to protest restrictions.

"The gatherings planned by several initiatives for August 29 against the corona policy of the federal and state governments can take place", the court ruled. Providing only his first name, Karl-Heinz, he had traveled with his sister from their home near the Dutch border to attend the protest and believed that the coronavirus cases being reported in Germany now were "false positives".

Anti-coronavirus protests on Saturdays are organised by Stuttgart's Querdenken 711 initiative group that criticizes the government's response to the pandemic.

Protesters waved German flags and shouted "Merkel must go!", a chant often used by the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party against Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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