Thousands rally against German COVID-19 lockdown

Chancellor Angela Merkel drew up the law after some of Germany's 16 federal states refused to impose tough measures despite a surge in cases. Her government has come under fire for its chaotic handling of lockdowns and slow vaccination campaign.

Police said they would break up the protest because many in the crowds of demonstrators were not wearing face masks or keeping a distance from one another. Up to 2,200 officers were on duty in Berlin to manage the protests.

Seven people were detained after they attacked officers, while police had to use pepper spray against other demonstrators who threw bottles and tried to climb over barriers.