Several protesters and at least one officer have been medically treated after a clash as officers attempted to shut down an anti-government protest against Britain’s heavy-handed coronavirus restrictions.
Thousands gathered Saturday for the “We Do Not Consent” protest, taking place in Central London.
Police are shutting down the protest due to a lack of social distancing, reports BBC.
British coronavirus policy requires that gatherings be limited to no more than six people. Protests can be larger, but must be attended by groups that are no larger than six. These groups are expected to remain socially distanced and to not mingle with one another.
Police reportedly used batons on several protesters, leading some away in handcuffs.
A statement from the Met Police stated that the crowds “have not complied with the conditions of their risk assessment and are putting people in danger of transmitting the virus.”
"This has voided their risk assessment and we have informed the event organisers they are no longer exempt from the regulations,” the statement continued. "By leaving now, you can keep yourself safe and avoid any enforcement action being taken by officers.”
Images of the event shared on social media show large crowds gathered, indeed shirking the very policies they gathered to protest.
The United Kingdom announced tighter lockdown measures this week, including mask mandates in restaurants and other "close contact" service industries.
The new guidelines also crack down on organized indoor adult sports, which were previously excluded from the "rule of six" restrictions.
Weddings, which had previously been limited to 30 people, are now legally limited to 15.
The government has warned citizens to expect that these newly tightened restrictions will be in place until March 2021.