Protests in Berlin against emergency lockdown measures

Thousands of people gathered today in Berlin to protest against lockdown measures designed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of a vote in parliament, dpa reported. Over 2,200 police was deployed to guard the parliament building as the Bundestag debated a law that would create national guidelines for coronavirus lockdowns.

The so-called "emergency brake" will impose stringent restrictions when the infection rate in a given district rises above a certain level. Activists called for supporters to travel to Berlin to oppose the measures ahead of a vote expected later in the day. Berlin police said they were expecting demonstrators to join three separate gatherings. A fourth had been banned.

The emergency brake is designed to kick in when the infection rate in a given district, as measured by the total infections over the past week per 100,000 people, reaches above 100 for three consecutive days.

The measures include a night-time curfew - the most controversial of the restrictions in the bill - as well as the shutting of most shops, and a limit on gatherings to one household and one other person, although children under age 14 do not count.

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