Protests against Covid rules and lockdowns erupt across Europe

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  • Protests against the latest COVID restrictions have continued to rock Europe over the weekend.
  • Demonstrations were held in Vienna, Brussels and Amsterdam against the new Kovid rules.
  • Cases of fresh coronavirus continue to rise across the continent.

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Protests over fresh COVID-19 restrictions have rocked Europe over the weekend, with demonstrations in places like Brussels, Vienna, Rome and Amsterdam.

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Protests erupted in Vienna on Sunday after Austria entered its fourth national lockdown due to the current pandemic wave, with people now being asked to work from home and closing non-essential shops.

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schellenberg has said the lockdown will last “a maximum of 20 days”. COVID vaccination will be mandatory from 1 February next year, making Austria the first European country to introduce compulsory vaccination.

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Read more: Austria reimposes a complete COVID lockdown and mandates vaccinations

Protesters clash with police in Belgium on Sunday after thousands of people gathered in a march through Brussels city centre. Police estimate that the “protest for freedom” march, primarily a protest against strict COVID restrictions, was attended by around 35,000 people.

Meanwhile, after violent scenes in the Netherlands and dozens of arrests in Rotterdam, protests continued for a third day, with thousands thronging Amsterdam over the weekend.

Following the Rotterdam riots, there was further trouble in various areas of The Hague on Saturday night, with reports of chaos in several other smaller Dutch towns.

More than 50 people were arrested in Rotterdam on Friday after fierce demonstrations described by the city’s mayor as an “orgy of violence”.

Dutch police used water cannons and fired warning shots after rioters protested the country’s partial COVID lockdown, injuring at least two people – amid rising cases – setting a police car on fire, setting off fireworks and Throw stones at police officers.

Many Dutch people protest the lockdown measures, which have forced shops, bars and restaurants to close at 8 p.m.

COVID passes, which restrict access to places such as museums and bars or have recently recovered from COVID, are now mandatory in more places. protesters are protesting government schemes To make COVID passes mandatory in more areas of public life. For now, stricter COVID measures are slated to last until at least 4 December.

Covid passes are also fueling protests in Rome, where large crowds gathered this weekend, objecting to the implementation of Italy’s version of the Covid passport, the “Green Pass”, which will apply to all Italian workers on 15 October. became mandatory.

Workers must either show proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from infection or they could be suspended from work without pay or face fines.

Thousands also marched in Croatia’s capital Zagreb on Saturday, demonstrating against mandatory vaccinations for public sector workers and COVID passes.

In Germany, politicians are beginning to debate the need for compulsory vaccination, a move that could inspire opposition if implemented.

The country’s seven-day coronavirus incidence rate has hit a record high in the past two weeks, while nearly 69% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

Read more: Germany announces new Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people as infection rate hits record

The government last week imposed a nationwide ban without vaccinations, but lawmakers across the political spectrum have said stricter rules may be needed.


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