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.