UK braces for anti-lockdown protests

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London's Metropolitan Police warned those planning to protest against new lockdown measures to stem the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday that it would not tolerate violence and hostility towards police officers or members of the public.
London's Metropolitan Police warned those planning to protest against new lockdown measures to stem the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday that it would not tolerate violence and hostility towards police officers or members of the public.

LONDON — London's Metropolitan Police warned those planning to protest against new lockdown measures to stem the coronavirus pandemic on Saturday that it would not tolerate violence and hostility towards police officers or members of the public.

In a statement, the Met acknowledged that protests are exempt from the "rule of six" — which forbids gatherings of more than six people — but warned that social distancing must be followed.

The protests are due to take place in London's Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park on Saturday.

“I know there is great frustration to these regulations, but they have been designed to keep everyone safe from what is a lethal virus. By flagrantly gathering in large numbers and ignoring social distancing, you are putting your health and the health of your loved ones at risk," said Commander Ade Adelekan, who is leading the Met operation.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he "recognized the burden and impact these additional measures have on our daily lives but we must act collectively and quickly to bring down infections."

It comes after Madrid, Moscow, Wales and Israel announced new health measures on Friday in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, which continues to accelerate in Europe and could kill two million people worldwide according to the WHO.

In the United Kingdom, the most bereaved country in Europe with nearly 42,000 dead, nearly half of Wales, including the capital Cardiff, will be subject to local containment.

Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Getting announced on Friday that from 6 p.m. Sunday, it would be banned from entering or leaving the cities of Cardiff and Swansea without valid reason, such as work or school. The same provisions will come into force the day before in Llanelli. — Euronews


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