Hundreds of protesters march in Switzerland against COVID-19 restrictions

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Hundreds of protesters marched in Switzerland on Saturday against coronavirus restrictions after the health minister said the current restrictions will stay in place through the end of February.

Approximately 500 protesters marched through the Swiss city of Zug to protest against what they see as unfair restrictions, Reuters reported

Switzerland tightened its rules last month, closing nonessential stores, requiring masks in stores that remain open, having employees work from home if possible and limiting gatherings to five people.

Reuters reported that demonstrators protesting Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset’s extension of the restrictions wore protective suits and carried signs reading, “Wearing a mask is modern slavery.”

Most countries around the world impacted by the coronavirus require their citizens to wear masks, as health officials have said face coverings help curb the spread of the virus. 

“I want to make a statement, that the citizens are the ones who are in control, and the state should be there to serve its citizens,” a person from the protest told Reuters.

“I’m a grandmother,” another person said. “I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up in a world where so much is forbidden.”

Switzerland does have lighter restrictions than some other countries, with their schools still allowed to be open. However, debate continues around the world over how far coronavirus restrictions should go.

No arrests were made at Saturday’s protest, as the police stayed out of the protesters’ way, Reuters reported.

Switzerland has seen almost 9,000 people dead and 530,000 people infected since the start of the pandemic, with new concerns surrounding a United Kingdom strand of the virus, which has been shown to be more contagious and possibly more deadly. 

Tags anti-lockdown protests Switzerland

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