Anti-Covid Restriction Protests Held in Netherlands Despite Ban

Protesters numbering in the thousands have gathered in Amsterdam on Sunday to oppose coronavirus restrictions that the government imposed in December last year.

Dutch police said anti-riot officers had to use force after protesters refused to leave the square even after a warning, which led to clashes and 30 arrests.

Police said they arrested 30 protesters for assault, public disorder, possession of illegal weapons, and not respecting security forces.

According to local media, four officers and two protesters were injured during the clash. 

Earlier, Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema issued an emergency ordinance, empowering police to clear the central Museum Square after protesters violated restrictions on public gatherings, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

On December 19, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced a lockdown and closed all but essential stores until January 14 in response to a fresh wave of Covid infections driven by the Omicron variant.

The current coronavirus restrictions in the Netherlands included public gatherings of more than two people.

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