Violence breaks out across Europe as Covid rules hit home

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Around 40,000 people descended on the Belgian capital to protest against new anti-Covid measures banning the unvaccinated from restaurants and bars. Some protesters were seen throwing projectiles at riot police and officers fired water cannons and tear gas.

Many protested against the strong advice to get vaccinated and any moves to impose mandatory shots.

It comes as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the Netherlands, Austria, Croatia and Italy to oppose new curbs.

In Belgium, workers must operate from home four days a week while Germany admitted compulsory vaccinations are “unavoidable” as a fourth wave threatens to cripple the country’s health system.

Germany reported 48,201 infections on Saturday ‑ the highest number of new Covid cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Netherlands imposed a three-week partial lockdown last weekend after recording a record spike in cases.

Austria became the first European country to make vaccination a legal requirement from February and tens of thousands of people protested in the capital Vienna.

In Croatia, thousands marched in the capital Zagreb to show their anger at mandatory vaccinations for public sector workers, while in Italy, a few thousand protesters gathered in Rome to oppose “Green Pass” certificates required at workplaces, venues and on public transport.

Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, condemned “an orgy of violence” at Friday’s demonstrations where seven people were hurt and more than 20 were arrested.

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