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Tens of thousands of people have today gathered to protest Germany‘s Covid rules as other European nationals start dropping restrictions despite cases still going up.

Demonstrators waved placards translating to ‘this policy destroys us all’ and ‘live and let live’ during a rally at the Koenigsplatz – a square in Munich – on Wednesday.

One protester was seen holding a sign reading ‘no compulsory vaccination’, as the country’s lawmakers debate whether to make the jab mandatory for all adults. 

The number of Covid cases in Germany is rising rapidly, with a new record of 164,000 infections being reported on Wednesday by the Robert Koch Institute. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Germany’s 16 state governors decided on Monday to keep existing coronavirus restrictions in place and examine how best to use increasingly strained PCR test capacities. 

On January 7, Scholz and the governors agreed to toughen requirements for entering restaurants and bars and decided to shorten quarantine and self-isolation periods.

Meanwhile, Holland has started lifting restrictions with bars, restaurants and theatres in the Netherlands reopening today despite record infection levels. 

Tens of thousands of people gathered today to protest Germany's Covid rules as other European nationals start dropping restrictions despite cases still going up

Tens of thousands of people gathered today to protest Germany's Covid rules as other European nationals start dropping restrictions despite cases still going up

Tens of thousands of people gathered today to protest Germany’s Covid rules as other European nationals start dropping restrictions despite cases still going up

Demonstrators are seen waving placards translating to 'live and let live' during a rally at the Koenigsplatz - a square in Munich, Germany - on Wednesday

Demonstrators are seen waving placards translating to 'live and let live' during a rally at the Koenigsplatz - a square in Munich, Germany - on Wednesday

Demonstrators are seen waving placards translating to ‘live and let live’ during a rally at the Koenigsplatz – a square in Munich, Germany – on Wednesday

Covid cases are also on the rise in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Italy. A new record of 164,000 infections was reported in Germany on Wednesday

Covid cases are also on the rise in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Italy. A new record of 164,000 infections was reported in Germany on Wednesday

Covid cases are also on the rise in Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Italy. A new record of 164,000 infections was reported in Germany on Wednesday

Scholz said earlier this week that Germany’s estrictions on private gatherings, large gatherings and other things helped delay until now the arrival of very high infection rates, ‘much later than in many neighboring countries; nevertheless these are very high infection figures, and so we must remain cautious and will stick to this course.’

Berlin is seeing a particularly steep spike in COVID-19 cases at present – on Monday, the five districts with Germany’s highest infection rates were in the capital. 

The Mitte district, where the chancellery is located, topped the list with 2,842.9 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

The city’s education minister, Astrid-Sabine Busse, announced Monday that Berlin students would no longer be obliged to attend school until the end of February, but that schools would be kept open for those students who still wanted to go there.

Anger has also raged for months over the introduction of vaccine mandates and new Covid restrictions, with weekly protests being held in the country.  

Chancellor Scholz has already come out in favour of the move and predicted in December that it would take effect in February or early March, but that timetable has slipped – partly because of the path the Chancellor has chosen.

Protesters seen holding signs reading 'no compulsory vaccination', as the country's lawmakers debate whether to make the jab mandatory for all adults

Protesters seen holding signs reading 'no compulsory vaccination', as the country's lawmakers debate whether to make the jab mandatory for all adults

Protesters seen holding signs reading ‘no compulsory vaccination’, as the country’s lawmakers debate whether to make the jab mandatory for all adults

Demonstrators waved placards translating to 'this policy destroys us all' during the rally today

Demonstrators waved placards translating to 'this policy destroys us all' during the rally today

Demonstrators waved placards translating to ‘this policy destroys us all’ during the rally today

The government isn’t putting forward legislation itself, but leaving groups of lawmakers to come up with cross-party proposals and then allowing members of parliament to vote according to their conscience rather than along party lines.  

Last month, the German parliament approved legislation that will require staff at hospitals and nursing homes to show they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid by mid-March.

At the weekend protesters, some of whom wearing ‘Unvaccinated, I’m not a lab rat’ T-shirts, gathered in Berlin to demonstrate against potential mandatory vaccination and government restrictions that aim to curb the Omicron variant.

It comes in contrast to Holland, where bars, restaurants and theatres that have been closed since mid-December will now be allowed to open from 5am until 10pm, at reduced capacity and with social distancing rules in place. 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Germany's 16 state governors decided on Monday to keep existing coronavirus restrictions in place

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Germany's 16 state governors decided on Monday to keep existing coronavirus restrictions in place

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Germany’s 16 state governors decided on Monday to keep existing coronavirus restrictions in place

Anger has also raged for months over the introduction of vaccine mandates and new Covid restrictions, with weekly protests being held in the country

Anger has also raged for months over the introduction of vaccine mandates and new Covid restrictions, with weekly protests being held in the country

Anger has also raged for months over the introduction of vaccine mandates and new Covid restrictions, with weekly protests being held in the country

It comes as Berlin sees a particularly steep spike in COVID-19 cases at present - on Monday, the five districts with Germany¿s highest infection rates were in the capital

It comes as Berlin sees a particularly steep spike in COVID-19 cases at present - on Monday, the five districts with Germany¿s highest infection rates were in the capital

It comes as Berlin sees a particularly steep spike in COVID-19 cases at present – on Monday, the five districts with Germany’s highest infection rates were in the capital

The public will also be able to attend sporting events, zoos, museums and attraction parks.

Health Minister Ernst Kuipers said experts felt the reopening was possible in part because hospitalisations from the country’s Omicron wave have been lower than initially feared.

Announcing the decision at a nationally televised news conference, he said: ‘We really are taking a risk today, and we have to be clear about that.’

The easing comes despite continuing high infection levels. On Tuesday, the National Institute for Health (RIVM) reported a record 366,120 cases for the previous week, up 51 per cent. 

Source: dailymail

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