Protests erupted across Europe last night when thousands of angry protesters called on their governments to reconsider a second round of lockdown restrictions.
In Italy, violence was reported in at least two major cities in the north, Milan and Turin, as large crowds protested over restrictions on freedom imposed to combat a second surge in coronavirus cases.
Witnesses said a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci store, were raided in central Turin when after dark many teenagers took to the streets, set off huge fireworks and lit colored torches.
At least 28 people were arrested in Milan after protesters threw Molotov cocktails at police in the heart of Lombardy, the original epicenter of the virus in Italy, where cases are currently re-emerging.
Meanwhile, protesters in Barcelona set rubbish bins on fire in the streets – before riot police intervened to end the chaos.
The demonstrations took place just a day after Spain declared the second nationwide state of emergency for all regions except the Canary Islands.
The new state of emergency will initially last 15 days, but the government plans to ask parliament for a six-month extension, which means the restrictions – including a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. – could be enforced by early May 2021.
Protests erupted in Italy and Spain last night when thousands of angry protesters urged their governments to reconsider a second round of lockdown restrictions. Huge crowds gathered on the streets of Barcelona with angry protesters who set trash cans on fire (picture)
In Turin, witnesses said a number of luxury stores, including a Gucci store (pictured), were raided when after dark many teenagers took to the streets, set off huge fireworks and lit colored torches
There were also clashes in Milan (pictured), the capital of neighboring Lombardy, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy
Hundreds of people gathered to protest the measures taken to stop the second surge in Covid-19 cases in Naples
Protesters stand by a burning rubbish bin as clashes broke out during a demonstration in Turin, Italy on Monday
Protesters in Barcelona waving posters with the slogan "F *** Covidtalism" take part in a march against curfew last night
In Barcelona, a group of hooded teenagers was seen hauling garbage cans to form a barricade on Passeig di Picasso
During a protest against the government's measures in Turin on Monday, protesters clashed with police
In Turin, the police responded with bursts of tear gas when they tried to restore order on Monday evening.
There were also clashes in Milan, the capital of neighboring Lombardy, an area that has borne the brunt of the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy.
"Freedom, freedom, freedom," sang the masses as they faced the police in the city center – with some screaming conspiracy theories like "The coronavirus doesn't exist".
The footage showed Molotov cocktails and other projectiles being thrown at a police car during the protests. At least one officer was injured and dozens of demonstrators were arrested.
Another protest is scheduled in town squares across Italy tomorrow, with restaurateurs and bartenders angry about the impact the recent shutdown has had on their industry.
Up to 80,000 pizzerias are about to close, and hundreds of thousands of people may be unemployed, according to HuffPost.
Italy saw a record 21,268 cases in one day on Sunday – the highest daily number the country recorded during the pandemic – followed by another 17,012 on Monday. In total, more than 37,400 people died.
The Italian government on Sunday ordered bars and restaurants to close at 6 p.m. and public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to close to curb a second wave of coronavirus infections that has ravaged much of the country.
In Spain and Italy, infections have risen to record levels along with those in France, the UK and other countries, although the Czech Republic and Belgium have the highest rates of any major country in Europe
In Spain and Italy, deaths have risen in recent weeks, although they are lower than the first wave – unlike in the Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries, where deaths have risen to record levels
Barcelona protesters built a barricade out of dumpsters last night to call for a change in Covid-19 policy
Police in Barcelona stand next to one of the overturned rubbish bins as they face protesters, some of whom are from a Catalan independence party
In another echo of the spring crisis, the Italian Foreign Ministry on Monday advised against unnecessary travel to other European countries, warning that people could be trapped if the situation worsened.
To calm tensions, the government announced on Tuesday that it would present a package of measures to support companies affected by the new restrictions.
Italy, once the hardest hit country by the pandemic in the industrialized world, has been overtaken by others in Europe, including France and the UK. However, infection rates have risen rapidly since early October.
A number of regions, including Lombardy and Piedmont, have also imposed curfews for the night.
Many small businesses, still badly hurt by an initial statewide lockdown in March and April, say the new restrictions could bank them.
While the Italians peacefully adhered to the spring lockdown, there was an immediate backlash against the renewed restrictions.
Protesters took to the streets in up to a dozen cities on Monday, including Treviso, Trieste, Viareggio, Latina, Rome, Naples, Salerno, Palermo, Siracusa and Catania.
In Milan, the crowds sang "Freedom, Freedom, Freedom" as they presented themselves to police in the city center. Pictured: clashes between protesters and police in Milan
In Turin, the police responded with bursts of tear gas when they tried to restore order on Monday evening. Pictured: protesters next to a fire in Turin
A fire burns in the street in Turin as protesters protest against restrictions put in place to contain the second wave of coronavirus
During a protest in Turin on Monday evening, police tear gas broke out when clashes broke out. Protesters protested against measures imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus
Italy saw a record 21,268 cases in one day on Sunday – the highest daily number the country recorded during the pandemic – followed by another 17,012 on Monday. In total, more than 37,400 people died. Pictured: clashes in Turin
In Spain, authorities in the Catalonia region are considering imposing a lockdown on weekends to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Huge crowds gathered on the streets of Barcelona with angry protesters setting fire to trash cans and marching while clutching signs that read "F *** Covid-Talism".
Most of the participants in the demonstration wore masks as they called for clear and effective guidelines to combat the economic consequences of restrictions.
The riot police eventually went in to stop the demonstration, spectators said.
According to Spanish media, protesters included Catalan separatists, Covid-19 deniers, Trotskyist groups and anti-capitalists who sprayed graffiti that said "Restrict the rich".
It comes just days after a nightly curfew went into effect across the country when a second nationwide state of emergency was declared.
The new measures come before the warning that Spanish intensive care units could be on the verge of "collapsing" by mid-November if the cases are not brought under control.
Spain's health emergency chief Fernando Simon said according to RTVE that there is already a "very critical situation" in some hospitals.
“I don't know if they will reach a breakdown situation. If the measures applied work quickly, we may be able to avoid this breakdown. Is there a possibility of a breakdown? Of course, ”he said.
In some regions of Spain, including Madrid and the surrounding area, Covid-19 patients fill up to 40 percent of their intensive care beds. For Spain as a whole it is 24 percent.
Last week, Spain became the first European country to register more than a million cases of the virus – and almost 35,000 people have died from it.
The weekend saw a new record of 52,188 cases in three days, increasing to 1,098,320 while another 279 people died from the disease.
The protests in Spain took place amid a curfew in Barcelona, during which the streets were mostly deserted (picture on Monday evening).
The Italian government on Sunday ordered bars and restaurants to close at 6 p.m. and public gyms, cinemas and swimming pools to close in order to curb a second wave of coronavirus infections that has ravaged much of the country. Pictured: a demonstration in Turin
Police officers stand guard while protesters gather during an anti-government demonstration in Turin, Italy on October 26
A damaged shop front is seen as protesters gather during an anti-government demonstration in Turin, Italy on October 26
The protesters took to the streets in up to a dozen cities on Monday, including Treviso, Trieste, Viareggio, Latina, Rome, Naples (pictured), Salerno, Palermo, Siracusa and Catania
Hundreds of people gathered to protest the measures taken to stop the second wave of Covid-19 in Naples on Monday
Large crowds gathered in the streets of Naples on Monday, many of them wearing protective face masks
Huge crowds could be seen in Naples on Monday. Italy, once the hardest hit country by the pandemic in the industrialized world, has been overtaken by others in Europe, including France and the UK. However, infection rates have risen rapidly since early October
The air turned red in clashes between protesters and police during an anti-lockdown protest in Milan on Monday
During demonstrations in Milan on Monday, police officers were seen wearing helmets and clutching protective shields
Protesters are seen on the streets during clashes between protesters and police on Monday in Milan
A protester confronts police officers and the carabinieri who stand guard in the area of the Central Station during anti-government demonstrations in Milan, Italy
Fires blaze in the streets of Turin after lockdown protests wreak havoc. The new measures include the closure of restaurants at 6 p.m.
During clashes between demonstrators and police in Milan on Monday evening, the air is red and full of smoke
Police officers and the Carabinieri guard the Central Station during the anti-government demonstrations in Milan on October 26th
Metal barriers fly amid demonstrations protesting the new Covid-19 regulations in Italy on Monday evening
(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) Italy (t) Coronavirus