Dutch riot police dispersed a 2,000-strong protest in central Amsterdam against stricter Covid-19 rules introduced in mid-December, with footage showing the police using attack dogs on some protesters.
About 2,000 people took part in the unauthorized protest in front of the downtown Rijksmuseum, according to Hungarian newspaper Mandiner. Protesters clashed with riot police as well, at one point pushing them back.
The space in front of the museum was emptied at the order of Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema. According to press reports, most of the protesters complied with the police orders and left the area, but marched on to the nearby Vondelpark.
No more than two people may gather in public places
Hundreds of riot police were on duty and water cannons were also on standby, as several demonstrations had been held against Covid-19 restrictions in the past, and the movements had turned violent in some places. In the Netherlands, Covid-19 restrictions were re-introduced in mid-December to curb the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Under the measures, commercial outlets selling non-essential goods will be closed until mid-January and no more than two people will be able to gather in public places. Educational institutions must keep them closed until Jan. 9, and the cabinet will decide in the first week of January whether in-person education can be resumed after that.
According to the latest, Jan. 1 data, Covid-19 deaths totaled 20,892 since the beginning of the pandemic and the third wave is past its peak, but the number of infected people is still higher than during any previous wave.