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Thousands of far-right demonstrators protested in Vienna against COVID-19 restrictions.

Protesters fought police in a far-right demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in January.

Protesters fought police in a far-right demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in January.Hundreds of police officers were deployed to central Vienna on January 31, 2021, to disperse a protest against COVID-19 restrictions organized by the right-wing Freedom Party.

Some 5,000 anti-mask supporters gathered at Heldenplatz square near the chancellor's office protesting the lockdown and demanded that Chancellor Sebastian Kurz resign. A group of demonstrators temporarily broke through a police cordon in an attempt to march on the imperial palace, but they were pushed back.

According to Interior Minister Karl Nehammer, several police officers were injured, and around 850 people were fined for failing to comply with health measures. Nehammer said that the violence was led by "hooligans and right-wing radicals", including several well-known individuals. This protest, along with 14 other rallies, was planned for January 30, 2021, and Austrian authorities did not approve them due to the members’ disregard for masks, social distancing, and other safety measures.

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19 including symptoms, prevention and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organisation or your national healthcare authority.

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