Thousands protest against coronavirus restrictions in Czech capital

Thousands protest against coronavirus restrictions in Czech capital

Prague Thousands of people rallied in the Czech capital, Prague, on Sunday to protest against the restrictive measures taken by the government to confront the record rise in coronavirus infections.

Among the demonstrators were members and supporters of a number of marginal political parties and groups that failed to win any parliamentary seats in the October elections. This was their third protest in the past two weeks. Participants did not wear face coverings or follow social distancing rules and drank beer despite the ban on drinking alcohol in public places.

In Letna Park in Prague, protesters chanted “Freedom!” and “We’re done!” While displaying signs that discourage vaccination, such as the one that reads “My body is my choice.”

The police did not intervene.

The country has set repeated records in new daily infections, with a record high of nearly 28,000 cases on Thursday. The infection rate reached 1,191 new cases per 100,000 residents during the past seven days. Overall, the country of 10.7 million has recorded more than 2.1 million cases with 32,837 COVID-related deaths. It has lower vaccination rates than many other EU countries.

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The Czech government declared a 30-day state of emergency and imposed additional coronavirus restrictions on Friday in its efforts to tackle the surge. Among them, all Christmas markets have been banned across the country, and bars, restaurants, nightclubs, discotheques and casinos must close at 10 p.m.

The number of people at cultural and sporting events in the Czech Republic is now limited to 1,000 people who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 while all other public gatherings can only attend up to 100 visitors, down from 1,000.

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