Hundreds of demonstrators stomped on the streets of London on Saturday to protest against the Government for COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country. The protestors also gathered to oppose the potential introduction of vaccine passports by holding up banners and placards of 'No Vax passport,' 'no to vaccine passports,' 'leave those kids alone' and 'stay human'. Reportedly, the outcry was also against the COVID-19 restrictions such as wearing masks.
According to the protestors, the restrictions were unnecessary and a breach of their human rights. The demonstration escalated with smoke bombs and one even set off firework. The vaccine passport was introduced for those who received their vaccination to resume international travel. According to the Government, those passports would also enable citizens to travel without mandatory quarantining rules. The country had eased virus restrictions recently on May 17.
The protesters moved towards Central London and out of the number of demonstrations launched, one was organised in the Shepherds Bush area, according to Met Police Events. Disruption had also broken out between protestors and officers as security forces monitored the gathering.
There were a number of demonstrations in #London today. One is still ongoing and has moved to the #ShepherdsBush area. Officers remain with this and are implementing closures to minimise disruption to road users. The roads will be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so.— Metropolitan Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) May 29, 2021
According to Metropolitan Police Events, an open letter was issued to 'those organising or participating in the various large public gatherings' requesting people to comply with government guidelines ahead of the fuss.
We have issued an open letter to those organising or participating in the various large public gatherings expected to take place in London today. pic.twitter.com/j6XhkQGozN— Metropolitan Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) May 29, 2021
In separate tweets, the police department had informed about the continuous protests. On Saturday night, the security officials informed about the complete evacuation in Westfield, W12 as crowd dispersed in the presence of police officers.
Out of the total population, 58% have received first dose of COVID-19 vaccination while 35% have been fully vaccinated. The country is also witnessing a sudden surge in fresh cases due to the B.1.617 variant originated first in India. In past one week, cases in hospitals have risen by 20% giving a major concern to the authorities. Recently, top experts of the country had alerted the government to take a "cautious" approach in its plan to lift all coronavirus restrictions in England scheduled for 21 June. The variant is believed to be responsible for up to three-quarters of all new cases in the UK and is more transmissible than the previously dominant strain of the virus, reported AP News.