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WATCH: Mass protests across Germany mark one year of anti-coronavirus restrictions

The event was not marred by any major incident, the police said, with the officers present at the scene primarily focused on checking that participants were properly masked.

Protesters are rallying in Berlin on Saturday, March 13, to mark one year since the first restrictions were put in place in Germany to tackle the COVID pandemic.

​Anti-lockdown rallies are expected to take place in several cities in the country.

Last year, most German states closed schools and nurseries on March 13, the same day the Bundesliga decided to postpone all its football matches. The first state to limit public movement was Bavaria on March 16 after a state of emergency was introduced.

The initial restrictions in Germany were eased only at the beginning of May.

In November 2020 bars, restaurants, gyms, cultural and sporting facilities across the country were temporarily closed again in an attempt to curb the spread of the second wave of coronavirus infections.

In March this year, the government announced a five-step exit plan for the gradual re-opening of businesses and loosening of restrictions, which is  “dependant on the seven-day-incidence rate” of COVID-19 cases.

Another large protest was held in the southwestern city of Stuttgart, with hundreds marching through the streets to decry the restrictions. The event has not seen any major incidents either.

Minor clashes between the police and protesters have been reported in the eastern German city of Dresden.

Despite failing to secure authorization for the event, hundreds of anti-lockdown activists gathered in the city’s center, while law enforcement tried to push them back and urged them to disperse in an orderly manner.

Last month, the government presented a five-step plan that envisions gradual lifting of the measures depending on the seven-day COVID-19 infection rate.

Still, a full reopening might not come anytime soon, as the country has seen “cases” rise in recent weeks.

Moreover, “Germany may face a new spike” in April on par with – and above – the figures registered ahead of Christmas last year, experts with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases have warned.

“An extrapolation of the trends shows that case numbers can be expected above the Christmas level from week 14 onwards,” the RKI said in its current situation report on Saturday.

So far, Germany has registered over 2.5 million cases of coronavirus, including more than 73,000 deaths, according to the latest RKI figures.

Source: RT

Header: A demonstrator attends a rally against the government’s restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak in Berlin, Germany on March 13, 2021. © Reuters / Christian Mang