Thousands across Germany join lockdown protests

Berlin, Apr 3 (efe-epa).- Thousands of people in Berlin, Stuttgart and other German cities took to the streets on Saturday to protest against coronavirus restrictions.

Germany has been under lockdown since November.

The largest of the rallies took place in Stuttgart, where several large marches against Covid-19 measures have taken place in recent months.

According to police estimates, some 2,500 people marched through the center of Stuttgart, capital of the southwestern Baden-Württemberg region.

A strong police contingent was deployed to prevent clashes with opposing groups.

The police forces also warned those attending the anti-restrictions march that it would be broken up if they did not comply with public health regulations and the use of masks.

In Berlin several hundred people gathered in front of the Brandenburg Gate, which attracted several hundred people.

Similar marches were also called in Hamburg, Cologne and Kassel, the scene of violent clashes between police and demonstrators last month.

Catering, leisure and culture have been closed since November, while non-essential stores were closed in December. A timid reopening had been contemplated at the beginning of the month, but was halted by a recent upturn in cases.

The German authorities have been insisting in the run-up to the festive season that contacts should be kept to a minimum and urged against non-essential travel, either within or outside the country. EFE-EPA

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