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Germany: Thousands of people gathered in Stuttgart to protest virus restrictions

Around 1,000 protesters took to the streets in Stuttgart on Saturday to protest coronavirus restrictions in Germany.

Participants gathered in the Lower Schlossgarten in the city centre, carrying umbrellas, displaying banners that said “With mask – without me” and chanting “freedom, freedom.”

A total of 1,500 people registered for the rally under the”Lateral Thinking 711″ initiative, while police estimate that the number of demonstrators present was closer to 1,000. 

A police spokesman said social distancing measures were generally observed, but due to the high summer temperatures, such measures were not as carefully adhered to in shady places.

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Coronavirus restrictions in Germany

In a survey published on Saturday by the Forsa Institute, a polling company, for broadcast group RTL, only 9% of those questioned said they had sympathy for rallies against coronavirus measures.

The demonstrations were met with particularly strong rejection on the part of two age groups: 93% of those over 60, and 94% of 18-to-29-year-olds said they did not support the rallies.

Germany has fared better than many of its European neighbours, with nearly 217,000 confirmed cases and over 9,000 deaths. However, health experts have warned that the country is entering a second wave of the virus.