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COVID-19: Oxford Street shoppers heckled over face masks as thousands protest coronavirus rules in London

Written by on 24 April 2021

Thousands of people have defied social distancing rules to march through the streets of central London – mostly in protest against COVID regulations including face masks and potential vaccine passports.

At least 10,000 demonstrators have been marching through the capital in the Saturday sunshine, according to Sky’s home affairs correspondent Mark White, who is there.

A march initially said to be part of the “Kill the Bill” movement against laws granting greater powers to police has seemingly been usurped by those protesting about coronavirus.

Protesters have been seen marching through London Image: Protesters have been seen marching through London

Mark White said: “The vast majority of people who are here are actually protesting against the rules around COVID, against vaccination, against the rules around masks.

“Lots of other concern as well about the potential for vaccine passports.”

White added: “A lot of different groups that have come together with a lot of different areas they are concerned about, under a general heading they say of an attempt to preserve their freedoms – and rail against what they say is a continuing effort by the government and authorities to curtail those freedoms.”

People out shopping in Oxford Street were met with calls from the crowd to “take your masks off”, as many protesters carried signs featuring the usual, disproven, scientifically impossible conspiracy theories about vaccines.

Protesters were seen moving through the capital Image: Police had asked people not to attend

Ahead of this weekend, the Metropolitan Police released an open letter to anyone thinking of protesting.

“The MPS strongly advises people not to attend any large gathering, for the protection of yourselves and others. We are still in the middle of a global pandemic,” it said.

“Please be advised that you may also be at risk of committing a criminal offence. Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 no person may participate in a gathering of more than 6 people outdoors, unless certain exemptions apply.”

Bristol has also seen crowds gather to protest in sunny weather today.