Demonstration in Berlin: Large protests at the Brandenburg Gate over Covid-19 restrictions

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A march earlier on Saturday that was criticized by police for failing to follow rules on social distancing and face masks has been halted by organizers.

The march, which was named by organizers as “Freedom Day – The End of the Pandemic”, included anti-vaccine groups and far-right and neo-Nazi organizations. During live broadcasts of the event, some protesters could be heard shouting: “We are the second wave”.

Current coronavirus guidelines in Germany state that people must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters, or about 1.50 meters. When this is not possible, masks should be worn. Berlin police said on Twitter that most of the protesters did not follow social distancing rules or wear masks.

“Our colleagues use loudspeakers to urge respect for the rules. We are also documenting the non-compliance for possible subsequent prosecutions, ”the Berlin police tweeted, adding that a criminal complaint had been filed against one of the organizers of the march for non-compliance with hygiene. rules.

Police warned the estimated 17,000 protesters who took part in the march that they would only be allowed to participate in the protest if they wore face covers and maintained social distancing.A livestream of the protest showed that almost no one was wearing a face mask, although the emcee told the crowd from the scene to maintain a physical distance so as not to give authorities “a pretext” to interrupt the show. event.

Germany recorded 955 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours for the first time since early May, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, the German agency for disease control and prevention.

The data was released on Saturday morning but reflects Friday’s numbers. The last time Germany recorded a higher number of new coronavirus cases was in May.

The German government has warned of another spike in coronavirus cases after the pandemic was largely brought under control.

According to the institute, the lax application of social distancing and hygiene rules as well as travelers returning from abroad are to be blamed for the sharp increase in cases.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a Twitter post on Saturday that the new figure was “alarming”

“Especially since these are not large” hot spots “but smaller groups of infections. The main risks must be clearly named for a more targeted prevention to become possible, ”Altmaier wrote.

From Saturday, all travelers coming to Germany will be able to get free coronavirus tests for up to 72 hours after arrival, according to a new directive from the German Ministry of Health.

For the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic, go here.

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