Dozens of people were injured on the night of Tuesday, July 7, as police clashed with anti-lockdown protesters in central Belgrade. Clashes reportedly erupted as several hundred demonstrators stormed the parliament building, demanding the reversal of the government's decision to reimpose lockdown measures in the capital over the July 10-13 weekend following a surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. At least 43 police officers and 17 protesters are reported to have been injured when security forces baton-charged a group throwing stones and other missiles at police at the entrance to the parliament building. A further 23 demonstrators were arrested.
Further unrest is likely in Belgrade in the near term amid continued opposition to the reimposed lockdown.
On Tuesday, July 7, President Aleksandar Vucic announced that a weekend-long curfew will be enforced in Belgrade from Friday, July 10, to Monday, July 13, in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. The announcement came after a further 299 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Serbia on Tuesday, with 13 associated deaths. Around 80 percent of all active COVID-19 cases are in Belgrade and hospitals in the capital are reportedly running close to capacity. From 18:00 (local time) on Friday until 05:00 on Monday, residents will only be able to leave their homes for essential purposes. The measure may be extended to the rest of Serbia in the coming days in COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Those in Belgrade are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate transportation disruptions in the vicinity of demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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