Police injured and protesters arrested at anti-lockdown demonstration in London
Police in London said on Saturday they arrested five people, and eight officers were injured, after disorder at large-scale protests against England’s remaining coronavirus restrictions, the mandatory use of masks and possible introduction of so-called vaccine passports.
Demonstrators had gathered early afternoon and marched along several major arteries, including the main shopping district Oxford Street, with videos and photos showing thousands in attendance.
Hundreds then rallied in Hyde Park later following the march where “small pockets of disorder” broke out, according to London’s Metropolitan Police Service.
“Eight officers were injured as they worked to disperse crowds in Hyde Park this evening,” it said, adding that missiles including bottles were thrown.
“Two officers were taken to hospital. Thankfully, they are not believed to be seriously injured.
“Five people were arrested for offences including assault on police and are now in custody.”
Horrified to see this.
These anti-mask, anti-lockdown protestors in Hyde Park today are beyond selfish – blatantly risking spreading Covid to vulnerable others.
Months of restrictions alongside the successful vaccine rollout – with more than 45 million doses administered – has seen the situation improve.
Pandemic indicators such as infections, hospitalisations and deaths are at levels not seen since last September.
Another major easing is due in mid-May, when some indoor socialising can resume, before nearly all restrictions are ended in late June.
The government is looking at introducing a passport scheme for a variety of settings, including leisure and hospitality as well as foreign travel, to verify if people have been vaccinated or have immunity from the virus.
Britain has been among the hardest hit in Europe by Covid-19, recording more than 127,000 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.