Thousands march through Brussels demanding end to tough Covid rules as Omicron ‘tsunami’ causes infections to reach record high of more than 60,000 一天
Huge crowds of demonstrators today marched through Brussels to demand an end to the country’s tough Covid rules as an 奥米克戎 ‘tsunami’ has caused infections to reach more than 60,000 a day in Belgium.
The sprawling crowd paraded through the Belgian capital, in a protest much larger than previous demonstrations.
There have been numerous previous protests in Brussels which have seen clashes with the police and violence.
And a protest on January 9 saw groups of demonstrators walk through the Belgian capital holding banners and chanting: 在国会山外可以看到显示抗议标志的车辆, 自由!’
Today’s protest was no different, with demonstrators clutching signs slamming Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and the Covid Safe Pass.
The Covid Safe pass proves that citizens are vaccinated or have tested negative and is required for entry into numerous venues. Police confronted today’s crowds with tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds as scuffles and violence broke out at the protest.
图为: Police confront protesters at today’s huge demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Brussels, 比利时
BRUSSELS, 比利时: Massive crowds clutch signs slamming Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and the Covid Safe Pass which proves that citizens are vaccinated or have tested negative and is required for entry into numerous venues
图为: A protester clad in a skeleton costume holds a sign saying ‘Where is my freedom?’ as thousands of demonstrators descended on Brussels today for a protest against coronavirus restrictions
The World Wide Demonstration for Freedom and Europeans United for Freedom, organisers of the protest, had called for people to come from other EU states.
This meant there were flags from Poland, the Netherlands and Romania in the crowd.
Francesca Fanara, who travelled from Lille in France, told AFP: ‘What has been happening since 2020 has allowed people to wake up to corruption.’
And Adolfo Barbosa said: ‘It’s a health dictatorship. It warms the heart to see these people here.’
BRUSSELS, 比利时: One protester wore an iceberg costume with ‘We are the tip of the iceberg’ written on it and perched the character Olaf from Frozen on the top of their outfit, as they attended today’s mass anti-Covid restrictions protest today
The organisers of the protest The World Wide Demonstration for Freedom and Europeans United for Freedom, had called for people to come from other EU states so there were flags from the Netherlands, Poland and Romania in the crowd as it weaved through the streets of Brussels (图为)
BRUSSELS, 比利时: Riot police detain a protester during clashes on the sidelines of the protest against European anti-coronavirus measures today
Belgium has seen daily infections surge to over 60,000 in the past week but the milder variant and high rate of vaccine means the country is not under the same strain.
Prime Minister De Croo said on Friday at a press conference: ‘[The Omicron variant] is true to its reputation. It’s not a wave, but a real tsunami.’
但是他说: ‘There is good news, Omicron is making people less sick. First of all because more and more Belgians are being vaccinated or have been infected.’
BRUSSELS, 比利时: Police set off a water cannon against protesters during today’s demonstration against COVID-19 measures
He announced at the press conference that restaurants and bars could extend their opening hours but nightclubs still remain closed.
He also said that the country is introducing a coronavirus ‘barometer’ which will come into force next Friday to gauge the seriousness of the pandemic, 根据 Politico Europe.
Police officers stand guard as protesters hold banners during the demonstration against the Belgian government’s restrictions imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus in Brussels, Belgium today
Belgium will begin on Code Red which is used when the health system faces a severe threat. Code Red corresponds to 150 new daily hospital admissions and bed occupancy in ICU of more than 500.
There is Code Orange for when the system is under pressure, 面对 65-149 hospitalisations and ICU bed occupancy of 300-500.
Then there is Code Yellow for when hospitals face less strain which translates to fewer than 65 daily hospitalisations and bed occupancy in ICU of fewer than 300.
Mr De Croo said that the barometer will help officials with decision-making but the Consultative Committee decides which code level the country is in and what measures or restrictions the country will face based on it.
BRUSSELS, 比利时: A protester holds a banner with the words ‘STOP DE CORONA DICTATUUR’ 写在上面 (Stop the Corona Dictator) at today’s demonstration
气球, banners and flags were hoisted in the air by huge groups of demonstrators who took to the streets of Brussels to denounce coronavirus restrictions in Belgium today (图为)
Belgian riot police stand behind a barbed wire blockade today as a demonstrator dressed as Jesus clutches a crucifix which says: ‘The truth: We’re being lied to!’
One protester holds a sign alluding to George Orwell’s 1984 at the large-scale demonstration in Brussels today
In further developments announced in Belgium on Friday, public venues such as cultural centres can have up to 200 visitors with health passes and sport stadiums can host outdoor events. And from March 1, a booster jab is required for people to retain their valid health pass if they had their second dose more than five months ago.
The country has reported a steady increase in COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions in January according to Belgium’s health institute.
已经超过了 30,000 daily cases between January 11 和 17 和 255 daily hospitalisations between January 14 和 20.
And Belgium’s latest coronavirus protest comes as some governments seek to ease restrictions despite the fast-spreading Omicron variant causing a surge in infections.
在周五, the EU’s health agency said that Omicron had become the dominant variant circulating in the bloc and neighbouring countries.
France has said it will begin a gradual lifting of Covid restrictions from February 2 after authorities said there were ‘encouraging signs’ that the wave of infections due to the Omicron variant was ebbing.