IN PICTURES: Here’s what happened at the anti-coronavirus measures protest in Berlin

As the German government reformed coronavirus protection laws, anti-measures protesters demonstrated in the capital. Here are photos and videos from the scene.

IN PICTURES: Here's what happened at the anti-coronavirus measures protest in Berlin
Police try to deal with anti-coronavirus measures protesters in Berlin. Photo: DPA

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Police used water canons to disperse demonstrators on Wednesday after repeated warnings for them to stick to rules and wear face masks when protesting.

Here are some photos and tweets from the day, showing the stand-offs between protesters and police.


All photos below are by DPA unless otherwise stated.

Early in the day there was a singalong to John Lennon's Imagine with hand holding and no social distancing.

A policewoman is shown in this video trying to enforce the requirement to wear a mask. “Before that, she asked the man several times to put on a mask or to show her a valid medical certificate,” said Felix Huesmann in this tweet. “He wasn't particularly cooperative.”

This dramatic photo shows demonstrators beside Brandenburg Gate and police firing a water canon at them.

Two participants at the demo embrace each other.

It's “complete madness” says Bild reporter Axel Lier.

Demonstrators carried posters showing German political leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel in prison garb and emblazoned with the word “guilty”.

There were clashes with police at the protests.

Police wrestle a man to the ground at the demo.

A protester wears a 'Corona' beer cooler hat.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Reichstag in Berlin.

Member comments

  1. Wow! I thought we had all the idiots here in the US!

    Wear a mask.
    Wash your hands.
    Keep your distance!

    These “risk-takers” don’t consider that they can spread virus easily for nearly a week before symptoms. This is just so stupid! Agree that the German rules seem too detailed and too arbetrary. Keep is simple…See above.

  2. This is actually heart-wrenching to see. Their total disregard for the well being and lives of others. So many people have suffered because of the virus and these idiots are just prolonging that pain.

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Is the pandemic over in Germany?

As much of Germany lifts - or prepares to lift - the last remaining Covid-19 measures, intensive care units say Covid-19 admissions are no longer straining the system.

Is the pandemic over in Germany?

Despite a difficult winter of respiratory illnesses, intensive care units in Germany say Covid-19 admissions have almost halved. The number of cases having to be treated in the ICU has gone down to 800 from 1,500 at the beginning of this month.

“Corona is no longer a problem in intensive care units,” Gernot Marx, Vice President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, told the German Editorial Network. “A the moment, we don’t have to think every day about how to still ensure the care of patients, but how to actually run a service that can help.”

Marx said the drop has allowed them to catch up on many postponed surgeries.

The number of sick employees in hospitals is also falling, helping to relieve the pressure on personnel.

The easing pressure on hospitals correlates with the assessment of prominent virologist and head of the Virology department at Berlin’s Charite – Christian Drosten – who said in December that the pandemic was close to ending, with the winter wave being an endemic one.

German federal and state governments are now in the midst of lifting the last of the country’s pandemic-related restrictions. Free Covid-19 antigen tests for most people, with exceptions for medical personnel, recently ended.

READ ALSO: Free Covid-19 tests end in Germany

Six federal states – Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hessen, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein – have ended mandatory isolation periods for people who test positive for Covid-19.

Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt, and Schleswig-Holstein have ended the requirement to wear FFP2 masks on public transport, while Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Thuringia, and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania will follow suit on February 2nd.

At that time, the federal government will also drop its requirement for masks to be worn on long-distance trains. Labour Minister Hubertus Heil says that’s when he also intends to exempt workplaces – apart from medical locations – from a mask requirement.

READ ALSO: Germany to drop mask mandate in trains and buses from February 2nd

Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg will also end the requirement for patients to wear a mask in doctor’s offices. That’s a requirement that, so far, will stay in place everywhere else. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has also said that he thinks this requirement should remain. 

But some public health insurers and general practitioners are calling for a nationwide end to the obligation for wearing masks in doctor’s offices.

“The pandemic situation is over,” National Association of Statutory Health Physicians (KBV) Chair Andreas Gassen told the RND network. “High-risk patients aren’t treated in all practices. It should generally be left up to medical colleagues to decide whether they want to require masks in their practices.”