Around 35,000 demonstrators gathered in the streets of Brussels to protest against the newly adopted Covid-19 restrictive measures.
The march started around 1 p.m. outside the Brussels North Station, with protesters bracing placards saying “Freedom,” “Fear is a bad engine” or “No to the Pass.”
Police were forced to deploy water cannons and tear gas to fend off violent demonstrators who threw fireworks at officers, Xinhua news agency reported.
The situation is now back to normal and transport links have reopened, said the police.
New measures to curb the spike in Covid-19 infections in Belgium entered into force on Saturday, mandating the use of masks in areas where a Covid Safe Ticket (CST) is required.
A “Covid Safe Ticket Plus” rule, combining the CST with mandatory mask-wearing, is now applied indoors for anyone above the age of 10 years.
The authorities, expected to meet again in January 2022, have asked people to respect the 1.5-metre social distancing rule indoors and limit social contacts outdoors, though no “bubbles” will be imposed for now.
Nightclubs, public and private events of more than 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors will also require the use of a CST and a mask.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)