Protests broke out in the Romanian capital of Bucharest against new COVID-19 restrictions, The Associated Press (AP) reported Saturday.
The AP reported that the new COVID-19 restrictions are set to include a requirement for mask wearing in public and will require shops to close by 10:00 p.m.
Restaurants will be permitted to remain open but only at half capacity, with AP reporting that restaurant goers will need COVID-19 passes.
The protesters, the majority of whom were not wearing masks, numbered at around 5,000 and were organized by the right-wing Romanian AUR party, according to AP.
Marching through Bucharest, the protesters called for freedom while blocking off traffic and honking horns, according to AP.
Protests against COVID-19 restrictions have been erupting across the world, with Australia shutting down public transport to quell protests and deploying the military to enforce COVID-19 restrictions.
Thousands of people have protested in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, to reject new measures by the authorities to curb an alarming surge of COVID-19 infections.https://t.co/cUwtuaf3WA
— Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (@RFERL) October 2, 2021
Reporting 12,590 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday according to AP, Romania is currently experiencing a surge in the disease as the health system is struggling to cope.
Hospitals “have patients hospitalized in beds in the hallway — all with extremely severe forms of COVID-19,” Beatrice Mahler of the Marius Nasta Institute of Pneumology told AP. (RELATED: Anti-Vaccine Passport Protests Explode Across France)
A Friday hospital fire killed 7 at an intensive care unit treating COVID-19 patients in the Romanian coastal city of Constanta, according to Reuters.
The AP reported that some Romanian medical workers have been angered by the protests, with Mahler saying the protesters “believe their right to ‘freedom’ is above our right to health.”