Berlin Covid protest broken up near Brandenburg Gate

Publishedduration22 minutes agoimage copyrightReutersimage captionPolice warned protesters they would break up the rally citing numerous violations of measures to tackle of Covid-19

Police have used water cannon to break up a protest by thousands of people in the centre of Berlin against changes to the law on coronavirus measures.

Berlin authorities said protesters had ignored requests to wear masks.

They announced the decision to halt the protest minutes after the Bundestag (German parliament) began debating reforms that give the government more powers during a pandemic.

Critics have condemned restrictions on people's liberties.

While Germany has not been hit as hard as other European countries by the Covid-19 pandemic, the rate of daily infections remains high and 13,119 people have died from the virus.

A partial lockdown has been in place across Germany's 16 states for the past two weeks and Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Bundestag that the increasing number of infections meant, sooner or later, an increase in suffering too.

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