PRAGUE (AP) – Several thousand people marched through the Czech capital on Sunday, protesting a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for certain groups, including people aged 60 and over.
Participants did not wear face coverings or follow social distancing rules despite a police request to do so. One person was detained.
The demonstrators chanting âFreedom! alleged that their constitutional rights are violated. They said they were not against voluntary vaccination but opposed a vaccination mandate.
The outgoing government this week issued an ordinance making vaccination compulsory for those 60 and over, as well as for medical staff, police, firefighters and medical students.
The ordinance is expected to go into effect in March, but it could end up being overturned. The administration of Prime Minister Andrej Babis will be replaced by a new government formed by five parties which won the legislative elections in October, led by Prime Minister designate Petr Fiala.
The new coalition government is expected to be sworn in next week. The coalition has opposed a vaccination mandate for the elderly and can overturn it. So far, 60.3% of the inhabitants of this country of 10.7 million people have been fully immunized.
The country recently faced a record increase in new infections, but the number of new cases has been dropping for more than a week.
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