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A protester confronting a police officer in Berlin on Aug. 28. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Berlin police arrested 300 demonstrators after disbanding a protest Saturday over Germany's coronavirus restrictions as tens of thousands of participants refused to maintain social distancing, per the BBC.

Why it matters: Berlin's regional government tried to ban the protest earlier this week, citing concern for public health. Protesters successfully appealed the decision on Friday, though a court required demonstrators to observe social distancing.

The big picture: Demonstrators at a protest near Brandenburg Gate opposed vaccinations, face masks mandates and the German government in general during the protest by waving U.S., Russian or German Reich flags, AP reports.

  • Others wore T-shirts promoting the American “QAnon” conspiracy theory, white nationalist slogans and neo-Nazi insignia, according to AP.
  • Authorities said "right-wing agitators" hurled rocks and bottles at one rally in Berlin, where police arrested 200 people, per the BBC.

By the numbers: Germany reported an increase in new coronavirus cases in recent weeks after seeing fewer cases over June and July, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

  • The country reported around 1,500 new cases on Friday and five deaths on Thursday. In total, the country has had 242,415 cases and 9,299 deaths throughout the pandemic.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the number of those arrested at the protest.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February — FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated".
  2. Vaccines: Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Beijing Olympic Committee lowers COVID testing threshold ahead of Games — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

In photos: How the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020

President Trump removes his mask upon return to the White House from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 5 after spending three days hospitalized for COVID-19. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of people in 191 countries and regions since spreading from China in January — killing more than 1.5 million people, infecting more than 66.3 million and disrupting many more lives.

The big picture: Companies and schools around the world have shifted to online work and classes. Many governments have responded with restrictions including lockdowns, social distancing measures and mask mandates.

Dec 7, 2020 - Health

India's Serum Institute seeks emergency use nod for AstraZeneca vaccine

A healthcare worker administers a coronavirus swab test on Dec. 6 in Mumbai, India. Photo: Satyabrata Tripathy/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India is reviewing the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and AstraZeneca for emergency use, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: India is home to the Serum Institute, the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world by volume. The country has also reported the most coronavirus cases outside the U.S., and the third-most COVID fatalities globally, per Johns Hopkins University data.