Protests were held in several major European cities over the weekend with hundreds of people taking to the streets to demand easing of COVID-19 induced lockdown and emergency measures.

On Saturday, protests were reported from Norway, Denmark, Finland and Romania. Around 200 protesters gathered at the Oslo city center and burnt masks to protest COVID related measures that were intensified in Norway after a surge in mid-March.

Similarly, hundreds of people gathered in Copenhagen to protest mass testing and restriction of movement. Demonstrators marched to the town hall. Many were also protesting the “Corona pass” that was introduced earlier this week. The pass certifies if a person is fully vaccinated or has tested negative in the last 72 hours. While various quarantine measures that were instituted in December are being gradually lifted, a complete exit from the lockdown is unlikely to be announced before May 21, a date when all people above the age of 50 are expected to have been fully vaccinated.

Finland’s capital Helsinki also saw nearly 300 people gather at the city center without permission from authorities. While they were disbursed, around 20 people were reported to have been arrested and fined. At present Finland has prohibited a gathering of six r more people in a bid to check the spread of the virus.

Protests also took place in Bucharest’s Victory Square and University Square. Demonstrators protested various restrictive measured put in place to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, French authorities said that they had arrested at least nine people for flouting lockdown restrictions and clandestinely dining at restaurants. The arrests were made in two separate raids in Paris: one at a shisha bar and another at a restaurant, when people refused to comply with an order to disperse and attacked police officers. France is under lockdown and all non-essential businesses including restaurants and bars are to remain shut. Additionally, there is a night curfew between 7 P.M and 6 A.M local time.

*Feature image: File picture of Men in Black protest in Copenhagen (March 27, 2021) by Funk Monk via Wikimedia Commons.