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IN PICTURES: Here’s what happened at the anti-coronavirus measures protest in Berlin

As the German government reformed coronavirus protection laws, anti-measures protesters demonstrated in the capital. Here are photos and videos from the scene.

IN PICTURES: Here's what happened at the anti-coronavirus measures protest in Berlin
Police try to deal with anti-coronavirus measures protesters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

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Police used water canons to disperse demonstrators on Wednesday after repeated warnings for them to stick to rules and wear face masks when protesting.

Here are some photos and tweets from the day, showing the stand-offs between protesters and police.

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All photos below are by DPA unless otherwise stated.

Early in the day there was a singalong to John Lennon's Imagine with hand holding and no social distancing.

A policewoman is shown in this video trying to enforce the requirement to wear a mask. “Before that, she asked the man several times to put on a mask or to show her a valid medical certificate,” said Felix Huesmann in this tweet. “He wasn't particularly cooperative.”

This dramatic photo shows demonstrators beside Brandenburg Gate and police firing a water canon at them.

Two participants at the demo embrace each other.

It's “complete madness” says Bild reporter Axel Lier.

Demonstrators carried posters showing German political leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel in prison garb and emblazoned with the word “guilty”.

There were clashes with police at the protests.

Police wrestle a man to the ground at the demo.

A protester wears a 'Corona' beer cooler hat.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Reichstag in Berlin.

Member comments

  1. Wow! I thought we had all the idiots here in the US!

    Wear a mask.
    Wash your hands.
    Keep your distance!

    These “risk-takers” don’t consider that they can spread virus easily for nearly a week before symptoms. This is just so stupid! Agree that the German rules seem too detailed and too arbetrary. Keep is simple…See above.

  2. This is actually heart-wrenching to see. Their total disregard for the well being and lives of others. So many people have suffered because of the virus and these idiots are just prolonging that pain.

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COVID-19

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Since the start of Germany’s Oktoberfest, the incidence of Covid infections in Munich has risen sharply. Though a connection with the festival can’t yet be proven, it seems likely.

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Two weeks after the start of Oktoberfest, the Covid numbers in Munich have more than tripled.

On Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an incidence of 768.7 for the city of Munich, though updated figures for the end of the festival are not expected until later in the week. Usually, on weekends and public holidays, there is a delay in reports.

In the entire state of Bavaria, the incidence value on Sunday was 692.5.

According to Munich’s public health officer, Beatrix Zurek, bed occupancy in Munich hospitals has also increased. Two weeks ago, 200 beds in Munich were occupied by Covid patients, whereas there are now around 350.

Though a relationship between the sharp rise in infections with Oktoberfest, which ended on Monday, can’t be proven at the moment, it seems very likely, according to experts. A significant increase in Covid incidences has also been shown at other public festivals – about one and a half weeks after the start. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, around 5.7 million visitors came to this year’s Wiesn according to the festival management – around 600,000 fewer than at the last Oktoberfest before the pandemic in 2019, when there were 6.3 million.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) took to Twitter to comment on the rise in incidence in Munich during the Oktoberfest. “This would not have been necessary if self-tests had been taken before admission,” he said.

“Compared to the price of a measure of beer, €2-3 (for tests) wouldn’t have mattered,” he said.

Even before the start of the Wiesn, he had spoken out in favour of people taking voluntary self-tests. Lauterbach stressed that now is the time for special measures against Covid.

“The development shows what will happen if the states wait too long with the mask obligation in indoor areas,” he added.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid-19 rules from October

In neighbouring counties, where many Oktoberfest visitors came from, the number of Covid cases has also risen noticeably.  Beatrix Zurek said that it is unclear, however, how much of a role Oktoberfest played in these figures, as people are currently much more active socially overall, with concerts and other events also taking place throughout the state.

Christoph Spinner, an infections specialist at Munich’s Klinikum, has urged people not to be alarmed by the rising numbers.

“We had expected rising incidences here. We knew that there could be a doubling, tripling, even quadrupling,” he said.

He said that this is no cause for concern, as many people have been vaccinated or have also recovered from previous Covid infections, so any new infections are therefore usually mild.

The virologist advises people over 60 or with pre-existing conditions to get a second booster vaccination, but otherwise said people shouldn’t be alarmed by the rising incidences.

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