Without respecting the use of a mask or physical distancing, thousands of protesters marched in Vienna Saturday, March 6, at the call of the far-right party FPÖ, to protest against the health measures adopted by the Austrian government to contain the Covid-19 epidemic.
The last lockdown in Austria was eased in February with the opening of schools, shops and museums. But the protesters rise up against the measures still in force, such as the closure of restaurants and cafes and mandatory tests for students physically present in their schools. Former FPÖ Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, in a speech to the crowd, accused the government of pursuing a “crazy and strange” policy.
Members of the far right, including neo-Nazis, who had participated in previous protests against masks and restrictions, were back in attendance, according to Austrian media. The police announced that they had proceeded to some arrests, some at the end of the demonstration while some participants refused to disperse.
Isolated clashes between protesters and left-wing counter-protesters were reported.
Meanwhile, the new contaminations reported every day in the country have increased in recent weeks. More than 2,500 new cases were registered on Saturday. According to Health Minister Rudolf Anschober, the particularly contagious British variant now dominates in Austria.