Germany is set to extend its coronavirus restrictions into April despite mass anti-lockdown protests.
Thousands of protesters angry at Covid-19 restrictions rallied in cities across Europe over the weekend, even as several nations reimposed partial lockdowns to fight new surges in infections.
A memo from several of Germany’s regions said the country’s partial lockdown should be extended into April because of rising infection rates driven by Covid variants.
And the country’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced on Sunday that she was keen to go ahead with the extension.
Travel needs to be cut to a minimum, with quarantines and negative tests required for those re-entering Germany, the memo warned.
The prospect of further curbs will infuriate the thousands of protesters who marched against existing restrictions in the Germany city of Kassel on Saturday.
Police there used water cannon, batons and pepper spray to disperse the crowds, which they estimated to number up to 20,000.
The march was organised by activists from both the far left and the far right, as well as peddlers of baseless conspiracy theories about the pandemic and vaccines.