21 April 2021, Berlin: A proter takes part in anti-coronavirus restrictions protest at 17th of June Street. New national rules to deal with areas of Germany suffering from high coronavirus infection rates will be debated by parliament for the first time on Wednesday, with the government under pressure to stem a third wave of infections. Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa
21 April 2021, Berlin: A proter takes part in anti-coronavirus restrictions protest at 17th of June Street. New national rules to deal with areas of Germany suffering from high coronavirus infection rates will be debated by parliament for the first time on Wednesday, with the government under pressure to stem a third wave of infections. Photo: Paul Zinken/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa

Berlin police expect thousands of activists to gather in the German capital on Wednesday to protest against lockdown measures designed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, ahead of a vote in parliament.

The Reichstag Building, which houses the lower house of parliament, has been cordoned off, with a total of 2,200 police deployed in the city centre as the Bundestag debates a law that would create national guidelines for coronavirus lockdowns.

The so-called “emergency brake” will impose stringent restrictions when the infection rate in a given district rises above a certain level.

Activists called for supporters to travel to Berlin to oppose the measures ahead of a vote expected later in the day.

Berlin police said they were expecting demonstrators to join three separate gatherings. A fourth had been banned.

The emergency brake is designed to kick in when the infection rate in a given district, as measured by the total infections over the past week per 100,000 people, reaches above 100 for three consecutive days.

The measures include a night-time curfew – the most controversial of the restrictions in the bill – as well as the shutting of most shops, and a limit on gatherings to one household and one other person, although children under age 14 do not count.

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