Police in London clashed with protesters on Saturday at a rally against coronavirus restrictions.
Scuffles broke out as police moved in to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who gathered in London’s central Trafalgar Square.
Some protesters formed blockades to stop officers from making arrests and traffic was brought to a halt in the busy area.
The “Resist and Act for Freedom” rally saw dozens of people holding banners and placards such as one reading “This is now Tyranny” and chanting “Freedom!”
Police said there were “pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers.”
Britain’s Conservative government this week imposed a ban on all social gatherings of more than six people.
Stricter localized restrictions have also been introduced in large parts of England’s northwestern cities, affecting some 13.5 million people.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the city may impose some of the measures already in place elsewhere in the U.K. That may include curfews, earlier closing hours for pubs and banning household visits.
“I am extremely concerned by the latest evidence I’ve seen today from public health experts about the accelerating speed at which COVID-19 is now spreading here in London,” Khan said Friday.
“It is increasingly likely that, in London, additional measures will soon be required to slow the spread of the virus.”
A survey of randomly selected people in England — not including those in hospitals or nursing homes — estimated that almost 60,000 people had COVID-19 in the week of Sept. 4, about 1 in 900 people.
Britain has Europe’s highest death toll in the pandemic with 41,821 confirmed virus-related deaths.
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