Czech Police Detain Nearly 150 At Protest in Old Town Square

Police detained around 150 people in Prague at a protest against the government’s Covid-19 restrictions on Prague’s Old Town Square on Sunday.

Thousands of protesters, including “radical” football fans according to police, gathered in the city center to demand the resignation of Health Minister Roman Prymula.

Public gatherings of more than six are also banned but up to 500 people are allowed to demonstrate if they are divided into separated groups of 20 and wear face masks.

Many of the demonstrators had no face coverings. After police said their number surpassed 500, the organisers ended the rally.

“Participants attacked the police without any reason,” Prague police chief Tomas Lerch told reporters, while another officer described them as “radical fans”.

“We used a water cannon, tear gas and petards,” Lerch said, adding that nearly 20 officers were injured.

Police rescue services said at least 20 people were injured in the clashes on Sunday.

In the past week, bars and restaurants have been ordered to close except for takeout orders, and schools have moved to distance learning.

Sport and fitness clubs, theatres and cinemas had already shut, but shops have remained open.

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