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Coronavirus protesters attack police in Leipzig

German police said demonstrators protesting coronavirus restrictions attacked them in the city of Leipzig Saturday, after the crowd was told to disperse.

Coronavirus protesters attack police in Leipzig
Some of those who joined the Leipzig protest organised by the "Querdenken" group attacked police. Photo: John Macdougall/AFP
“There were numerous attacks against security forces,” police tweeted while media broadcast images of projectiles and fireworks thrown at police who had established a security cordon near the city's main train station.
   
The crowd in the eastern German city was estimated to number around 20,000 and German media reported that some of those who clashed with police were members of far-right groups.
   
Some of the protesters also attacked journalists and people taking part in a counter-demonstration in Leipzig, a large student city.
   
The police were out in force and made several arrests but the clashes continued into the evening.
   
But ignoring the dispersal orders, hundreds of people marched up one of Leipzig's main streets shouting “Merkel must go!” and “peace, freedom, no dictatorship”, according to the German news agency DPA.
   
Municipal authorities said the protesters had infringed the conditions under which they were allowed to hold their demonstration.
   
To curb the coronavirus spike in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel has appealed to people to help achieve a “turnaround” by respecting a new round of shutdowns until the end of the month.
   
Germany recorded a record 23,000 new virus cases on Saturday. The total number of Covid-19-related deaths stood at 11,226.
 
 
READ ALSO: 
 
 'Collateral damage'
 
Under the new measures, Germans will not be confined to their homes, but bars, cafes and restaurants must close, as well as theatres, opera houses and cinemas.
   
Looking ahead to the festive season, Merkel has ruled out any “lavish New Year's Eve parties”, but held out hope that families will be able to celebrate Christmas together.
   
In Leipzig, protester Robert Koehn, 39, called the anti-virus measures “disproportionate”.
   
“I simply see the collateral damage that these measures cause: the isolation of people, the bankruptcy that threatens them”, he said.
 
Fellow protester Anne, 65, said that “for me there is no virus, they cite the coronavirus crisis as a motive, but there are other things behind this”.
   
Organisers of the protest called for “the immediate lifting of restrictions to fundamental rights” arising from measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
   
Police ordered the demonstrators several times to respect a distance of 1.5 metres (yards) from each other and to wear protective masks.
   
According to the regional public television MDR, flags recalling the German “Reich” or empire that collapsed after World War I were waved by some protesters, and members of the neo-Nazi group NPD were reportedly seen in the crowd.
   
Saxony, the state where Leipzig is located, is considered a stronghold of far-right German nationalists, but the rally organisers consider themselves “free-thinkers” representing a range of political and social movements.
   
The demonstrators are closely tracked by German authorities, especially since several hundred protesters forced their way past police barriers and onto the steps of the national parliament in late August. 

Member comments

  1. They are lying. Provocateurs from this Fascist government are trying to turn the people against one another. Don’t fall for the lies.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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