Around ten thousand people gathered in the Bad Cannstatt district of Stuttgart on Saturday, May 9, to demonstrate against restrictions in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Local sources reported that most demonstrators adhered to safety regulations agreed upon between organizers and city officials, including participants maintaining a 1.5 m (5 ft) distance from one another. A small counter-protest was held in support of the restriction measures, but the event is reported to have passed off peacefully. Similar protests also occurred in Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt on Saturday.
Further demonstrations and associated disruptions are possible in Stuttgart and other major cities over the near term.
Although authorities in Germany began easing some COVID-19 restrictions from Thursday, April 30, many measures remain in place, including social distancing and the continued closure of some business sectors, including the leisure industry. Demonstrations have occurred regularly in major cities since restrictions were enacted in March, drawing support from both left- and right-wing fringe elements who view the measures as an infringement on fundamental civil liberties.
Individuals in Stuttgart are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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