Berlin police ordered a protest against Germany’s pandemic restrictions to disband Saturday after participants refused to observe social distancing rules.
Tens of thousands of people had gathered in the German capital in a show of defiance against the country’s virus mandates.
Uwe Bachmann, 57, said he had come from southwestern Germany to protest for free speech and his right not to wear a mask.
Another protester had traveled with his sister from their home near the Dutch border to attend the protest and believed that the COVID-19 cases being reported in Germany now were false positives.
Germany’s disease control agency recorded almost 1,500 new infections over the past day. The country has a total death toll of some 9,300 people.
Berlin’s regional government had attempted to ban the protest.
Protest organizers successfully appealed the decision on Friday, though a court ordered them to ensure social distancing. Failure to enforce that measure prompted Berlin police to dissolve the march.
In Germany, masks must be worn on public transport, in stores and some public buildings such as libraries and schools.
Meanwhile, a few hundred people rallied Saturday in eastern Paris to protest new mask rules and other restrictions. Police watched closely but did not intervene.
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