Swiss protests on covid rules

Police forces blocking protests in Zurich

Police were deployed to prevent demonstration against a ban on public gatherings over the government’s coronavirus lockdown measures

Police have broken up renewed protests in several Swiss cities against coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Several hundred participants of all ages took part in the demonstrations in Zurich, Bern, Basel and Winterthur on Saturday. Observers have described the crowds as a mix of civil rights campaigners, anti-state protestors and followers of esoteric views.

Police calls to disperse were met with boos. Police said they would not intervene because elderly people and children were among the crowds. By late afternoon the demonstration had finished.

Protesters in Bern
The rally in Bern was not broken up as it was attended by elderly people and children.(SRF-SWI)

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in the Swiss capital, Bern, Basel, St Gallen and Zurich to protest against a government-imposed coronavirus lockdown. The rallies were held in defiance of police warnings not to infringe on social distancing rules.

Two groups of protestors had set up in Bern on Saturday afternoon, for a second week in a row, despite a ban on more than five people gathering in public places. Some were carrying posters with slogans such as “Freedom Yes – No Constraints”.

A demonstration in Basel broke up at around 3pm when police arrived on the scene. A rally of around 100 people in Zurich also dispersed peacefully with no arrests made or fines handed out.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered in the Swiss capital, Bern, Basel, St Gallen and Zurich to protest against a government-imposed coronavirus lockdown. The rallies were held in defiance of police warnings not to infringe on social distancing rules.

Demonstrators defy ban to protest against lockdown

#Swiss report that protesters gathering against #COVID rules and restrictions in Zurich and Bern.

Around 200 people gathered in Zurich on Saturday (May 16), violating a ban on gatherings of more than five people.

They demanded a say in the government’s measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Stop corona mania,” said a placard carried by a protesters.

Mask-wearing is not as prevalent in Switzerland as it is in neighboring Italy or France. It is not compulsory in public transport, and only a few shops require customers to wear masks.

“I don’t want my kids to have to walk around with protective masks. I don’t want to be told if I can visit my grandma or not,” social worker Nadja Sedlak said. Gatherings of more than five people are banned in Switzerland, despite the gradual easing of lockdown measures since early May. Social distancing of two metres is also recommended.

An hour after the gathering, police asked the protesters to disperse and escorted some away from the Sechselaeuten square. Switzerland recorded 58 new coronavirus cases on Saturday (May 16), bringing the total to 30,572 cases. The death toll is 1,602

Swissinfo.ch

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