Dutch police disperse thousands protesting in Amsterdam against the Covid lock-in

Riot police with batons and shields tried to break up a crowd of several thousand who had gathered in the Dutch capital on Sunday to protest against blocking measures and vaccinations against covid-19.

Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema issued an emergency ordinance giving police the power to clear the central museum square, after protesters violated the ban on holding public gatherings during the latest wave of coronavirus infections.

The protesters, who for the most part did not wear masks and broke rules of social distancing, also ignored an order not to hold a march and walked along a main street, playing music and holding yellow umbrellas as a sign of opposition to government action.

The Netherlands went into a sudden deadlock on December 19, when the government ordered the closure of all but important shops, as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places until at least January 14.

Public gatherings with more than two people are prohibited under the current restrictions.

Like other European countries, the Netherlands introduced the measures in an attempt to prevent a new wave of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus that could overwhelm an already strained healthcare system.


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