Thousands of people have gathered in Berlin to protest against coronavirus restrictions as cases rise in Germany.
A crowd of people, many not wearing masks, marched from the Brandenburg Gate on Saturday ahead of a rally on a wide boulevard that runs through the city’s Tiergarten park.
The demonstration was titled ‘The end of the pandemic: freedom day’.
Protesters held up placards promoting conspiracy theories such as “Corona, false alarm”, and there were chants of “we’re here and we’re loud, because we are being robbed of our freedom.”
Placards also read “we are being forced to wear a muzzle” and “natural defence instead of vaccination.”
Germany has so far fared better than some of its European neighbours during the outbreak, with 210,000 confirmed cases and around 9,100 deaths attributed to COVID-19, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
The country has been easing lockdown measures since late April but social-distancing rules remain in place, as does a requirement to wear masks on public transport and in shops.
Infection figures have crept up over the past few weeks and officials have warned against complacency.
Earlier this week Lothar Wieler, the president of the German Robert Koch Institute for Health Surveillance, expressed alarm at rising cases.
“The latest developments of COVID-19 cases are a source of great concern for me and for all of us at the RKI,” he said.