Anti-lockdown rallies stopped at early stage

Police were deployed to prevent demonstration against a ban on public gatherings over the government's coronavirus lockdown measures. Keystone/Alexandra Wey

Police have broken up renewed protests in several Swiss cities against coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

swissinfo.ch with Keystone-SDA/ug

Several hundred participants of all ages took part in the demonstrations in Zurich, Bern, Basel and Winterthur on Saturday. Observers have described the crowds as a mix of civil rights campaigners, anti-state protestors and followers of esoteric views.

Several people were arrested or taken away for questioning by police.

The protestors called for an end to the ban on public gatherings introduced by government in mid-March as part of measures to prevent the spread of infectious Covd-19 virus.

Police in Bern cordoned off parliament square – a popular site for public rallies. It also intervened to block a protest on the outskirts of the city.

Anti-lockdown demonstrations have increased notably in the main German-speaking part of the country since the beginning of May amid criticism of inconsistent police intervention.

The demonstrations come amid calls by opinion leaders for the government to re-instate full public rights in Switzerland, but respecting the health precautions, notably hygiene and the stay 2-metre distance rules.

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