Anti-lockdown protests have filled the streets of London city centre.
The end of lockdown has been highly anticipated, as people hope for a return to normalcy. Despite restrictions steadily being lifted, some are demanding complete removal of the systems that have reduced the spread of Covid-19.
A mass protest has seen people voice their anger at the regulation, with a variety of perspectives.
What has been said?
On the back of filled streets, many have shared their thoughts on the situation. One image of Oxford Street can be seen below.
Some were keen to point out that the protest united many opinions. One tweet noted:
“A reminder about the #londonprotest – it’s not just anti-vaxxers. It’s people who were prevented from being with family as they died. It’s people who have lost their jobs and businesses. It’s people whose children have been denied an education.”
However, others were more critical of the event given that is occurring as UK lockdowns come to an end.
A Twitter user observed:
“People protesting against a lockdown when we’ve just come out of lockdown is one of the most pointless things I’ve ever seen. Like seriously how pathetic, sorry that you’ve had to stay home in order to protect our most vulnerable, how terrible! #lockdown #londonprotest“
Others shared this opinion.
How have the authorities responded?
The Metropolitan Police have restated the guidelines in the wake of this protest:
“The MPS strongly advises people not to attend any large gathering, for the protection of yourselves and others. We are still in the middle of a global pandemic.”
“Please be advised that you may also be at risk of committing a criminal offence. Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 no person may participate in a gathering of more than 6 people outdoors, unless certain exemptions apply.”
However, the authorities did note that this protest was listed as legal.
“There is an exception for a protest event, the organiser having carried out a full risk assessment and taken all steps to limit the transmission of the virus.”
Despite this, they reminded people that fines will be implemented if rules are broken.
“If you attend a gathering that breaches the Regulations, you may be committing an offence, which is punishable by a fine.”
A full lockdown has been removed and more activities like meeting indoors with six people will be possible on May 17. The government then hopes to enable more activity as time progresses.
Nonetheless, the protestors clearly want these changes to happen quicker.
Images via Alamy