Thousands in Czech capital protest pandemic restrictions

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Thousands of demonstrators massed in the streets of the Czech capital of Prague on Sunday to protest the government's restrictive measures to fight against the latest surge of COVID-19 infections, The Associated Press reported

The Czech Republic's government on Friday imposed a 30-day state of emergency, banning Christmas markets across the country and placing 10 p.m curfews on bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

The government also limited the number of people who can attend sporting and cultural events to 1,000, if they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from symptoms, according to The AP.

Sunday marked the protesters' third demonstration in the last two weeks. Most participants did not wear any face coverings or follow social distancing rules, and drank alcoholic beverages despite the bar of drinking in public.

Some protesters chanted "Freedom!" and "We've had enough!" at Prague's Letna Park while displaying banners discouraging vaccinations, the AP reported.

Protests also included members and supporters of a number of fringe political parties.

This comes as the Czech Republic hit a new record of 28,000 COVID infections on Thursday.

The Czech Republic, which has a low vaccination rate compared to other European nations, has reported 2.1 million COVID cases with 32,837 virus-related deaths, The AP noted.

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