Protesters in Belgium march against COVID-19 restrictions
Protesters took to the streets in the hundreds in Belgium’s capital on Sunday to demonstrate against COVID-19 restrictions amid a rising number of infections reported in the country, The Associated Press reported.
Heading toward the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels, people could be seen carrying signs saying things such as “United for our freedom, rights and our children” and chanting phrases against the COVID-19 protocols, the wire service noted.
Roughly 76 percent of people in Belgium are fully vaccinated, per data from Johns Hopkins University. But the nation has been seeing a surge of new COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
The nation had over 20,000 new cases last Wednesday and over 25,000 cases the day prior, according to data from the World Health Organization. Comparatively, cases were in the low thousands in August and September.
In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, new measures were introduced on Friday by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Some of the measures include capping the capacity of people at indoor events at 200 people and requiring children as young as six years old to wear masks, according to the AP.
Other European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Austria have also witnessed similar demonstrations against COVID-19 protocol, including one rally organized by a right-wing extremist group outside the home of a German state health minister on Friday evening.
On Saturday, Frankfurt, Berlin and the Dutch town of Utrecht collectively saw tens of thousands of people protesting against measures.
But the protests come as nations now grapple with the newly detected omicron variant which has made its way across the world after it was first detected in South Africa last month. Scientists are racing to learn more about the variant, including how effective the COVID-19 vaccines are against it.