Thousands of people gathered to reject the new measures introduced by the government on Friday, the third week in a row the measures were tightened, following a recent increase in COVID-19[feminine[feminine case.
Most of the protesters marched peacefully, with some carrying placards criticizing COVID-19 vaccinations and the compulsory vaccination. Several were accompanied by children.
Shout “Freedom! Freedom ! And carrying banners saying “United for our freedom, our rights and our children”, the demonstrators marched to the headquarters of the European Union.
The main crowd had largely dispersed when around 100 protesters clashed with a barricade of police wearing riot gear protecting access to the European Commission.
According to the Associated Press news agency, after a brief standoff, protesters began throwing trash and other items – including a bicycle – at police.
Protesters set off firecrackers and flares, while police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowds. No injuries were immediately reported.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday that day care centers and primary schools would close a week earlier for the Christmas holidays.
Mr De Croo added that children must wear masks from the age of six and that indoor events would be limited to a maximum of 200 people.
Nightclubs have already been ordered to close and the government has ordered bars and restaurants to close at 11 p.m. for three weeks.
Despite speculation that closing hours would be brought forward to 8 p.m., ministers decided not to do so.
According to the latest national health figures, cases in Belgium seem to have reached a plateau.
On a weekly average, 17,862 daily new cases were reported in Belgium, an increase of 6% from the previous week, the Associated Press reported.
Hospital admissions rose 4%, leaving more than 3,700 people hospitalized with COVID, including 821 in intensive care.
More than 27,000 people infected with the virus have died in Belgium, which has 11 million inhabitants, since the start of the epidemic last year.