Demonstrators took the streets of London, Tel Aviv, and other cities on Saturday to protest coronavirus restrictions, decrying how the measures have affected daily life even with infection rates rising in many places and the global death toll approaching 1 million, the AP reports. In the UK, the latest official estimates released Friday showed that new infections and coronavirus hospital admissions have been doubling every seven to eight days. Britain has Europe's highest death toll since the start of the pandemic, with 41,821 confirmed virus-related deaths. The government recently banned social gatherings of more than six people in the hopes that it would help reverse a steep rise in COVID-19 cases and suggested that tougher restrictions could be coming. Among the protests:
- Saturday's protest in Trafalgar Square, which was themed "Resist and Act for Freedom," ended in clashes between demonstrators and London police, as officers tried to disperse hundreds of people holding banners and placards scrawled with anti-restriction messages such as "This is now Tyranny." London Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned that the city may add curfews, force pubs to close earlier, and ban household visits to try to limit the city's sharp rise in new cases.
- In Israel, meanwhile, authorities ordered a full lockdown that began Friday and coincided with the Jewish High Holidays, which are typically celebrated with family gatherings and large prayer services. Demonstrators in swimsuits gathered on a beach in Tel Aviv and waved black and pink flags connoting various protest movements.
- In Australia, about 100 protesters gathered in the Melbourne beachside suburb of Elwood on Saturday before being scattered by police.
- In Romania's capital city, Bucharest, several hundred people protested against virus restrictions, including the mandatory use of masks in schools. Romania is among the countries that has had a new spike in confirmed cases, including a national daily record of 1,713 cases earlier in the week and 1,333 more on Saturday.
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