Protesters stormed the Serbian parliament after the president announced that a blockade of coronaviruses would be reimposed this weekend.
Thousands gathered in Belgrade to demonstrate against President Aleksandar Vucic’s announcement despite the fact that the Balkan country declared its highest number of deaths in one day
A small fire could be seen illuminating the night sky while the demonstrators applauded.
Police fired tear gas at thousands of people, some chanting “Resignation!” Resignation! “Gathered in front of the Parliament in downtown Belgrade.
Some managed to enter the building by force, but were repulsed by riot police.
The president called the situation in the Serbian capital a virus “alarming” and “critical” because the city’s hospitals have almost reached their maximum capacity.
Vucic said the government will reimpose a curfew starting Friday.
He said it would “probably” last from 6 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.
He also said that groups of up to five people would be allowed together.
The country’s health ministry said on Tuesday that 13 people died within 24 hours in Serbia and 299 new cases have been confirmed.
This brought the total to 16,719 confirmed cases and 330 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic in Serbia, which went from one of the strictest bans in Europe to an almost complete reopening in early May.
Football and tennis matches were played in crowded stands and parliamentary elections were held on June 21 despite expert warnings that mass rallies without social distancing could lead to a new wave of coronavirus.
“We probably relaxed too much,” said Mr. Vucic.
“Everyone thought it was all over,” he added, angrily dismissing widespread criticism that his insistence on holding the elections had led to the lifting of the previous foreclosure and the recent spike in the coronavirus case.