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Thousands gather in Berlin to protest against Covid-19 restrictions

A large crowd of far-right groups gathered for a "sit-in" at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Saturday to protest against the German government's coronavi...

Posted: Aug 1, 2020 7:39 PM

A large crowd of far-right groups gathered for a "sit-in" at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Saturday to protest against the German government's coronavirus restrictions.

A march earlier Saturday that was criticized by police for not adhering to rules on social distancing and face masks was halted by organizers.

The march, which was named by organizers as "Day of Freedom -- The End of the Pandemic," included anti-vaccine groups and some far-right and neo-Nazi organizations. On livestreams of the event, some protesters could be heard yelling, "We are the second wave."

Current coronavirus guidelines in Germany stipulate that people must maintain a distance of 1.5 meters, or about 5 feet. Where that is not possible, face masks must be worn. Berlin police said on Twitter that most of the protesters were not adhering to social distancing rules or wearing masks.

"Our colleagues are using loud speakers to urge the adherence to the rules. We are also documenting non-compliance for possible later prosecution," Berlin police tweeted, adding that a criminal complaint was filed against one of the march's organizers for not adhering to hygiene rules.

Police warned the roughly 17,000 protesters who participated in the march they would only be allowed to participate in the demonstration if they wore face coverings and maintained social distance.

A livestream from the protest showed almost no one wearing a face mask, although the master of ceremonies told the crowd from the stage to maintain physical distance so as not to give the authorities "a pretext" for breaking up the event.

Germany recorded 955 new coronavirus infections in a 24-hour time span for the first time since the beginning of May, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's agency for disease control and prevention.

The data was published Saturday morning but reflects Friday's numbers. The last time Germany recorded a higher number of new coronavirus cases was in May.

The German government has been warning about a new spike in coronavirus cases after the pandemic had largely been brought under control.

The institute says lax enforcement of social distancing and hygiene rules as well as travelers returning from abroad are to blame for the steep rise in cases.

Germany's economy minister Peter Altmaier said in a Twitter post on Saturday that this new number is "alarming"

"Especially since it is not large 'hot spots' but smaller clusters of infections. The main risks need to clearly be named so that a more targeted prevention becomes possible," Altmaier wrote.

Starting Saturday, all travelers coming to Germany will be able to get free coronavirus tests up 72 hours after arrival, according to a new directive from Germany's health ministry.

For the latest on the coronavirus pandemic, go here.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 546814

Reported Deaths: 10133
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2042584919
Riverside40452799
Orange38754704
San Bernardino34939497
San Diego31127583
Kern22009160
Fresno16625157
Alameda12884206
San Joaquin12119192
Santa Clara11336196
Sacramento10544155
Tulare10475196
Imperial9601240
Stanislaus9408151
Contra Costa8760136
Ventura803582
San Francisco732664
Santa Barbara665268
San Mateo5978120
Marin525778
Monterey515635
Merced485562
Kings445356
Solano395939
Sonoma335844
Madera226736
Placer209920
San Luis Obispo204716
Yolo166042
Santa Cruz12294
Butte10608
Napa104610
Sutter8936
El Dorado7161
San Benito6994
Lassen6380
Yuba5724
Shasta4119
Mendocino36310
Colusa3624
Glenn3603
Nevada3211
Humboldt2804
Tehama2711
Lake2202
Amador1620
Mono1531
Tuolumne1472
Calaveras1361
Del Norte960
Siskiyou920
Inyo863
Mariposa602
Plumas340
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 86°
Oroville
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Hi: 100° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 86°
Paradise
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 86°
Chester
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75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 75°
Red Bluff
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Feels Like: 86°
Willows
Clear
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Hi: 103° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 86°
After a couple days of comfortably cooler than average weather around northern California, highs rose rapidly to more seasonable levels this afternoon. The warming trend will continue through the weekend, too.
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