Sydney police block anti-lockdown protest as virus cases surge
Police blocked off downtown Sydney from anti-lockdown protesters on Saturday as coronavirus cases surge in the city.
The police closed train stations to the area and banned taxis from driving customers downtown, Reuters reported.
There were also 1,000 officers on duty to prevent any protests from forming in the city.
Police prepared for protests this weekend after thousands gathered the previous weekend to rally against a citywide coronavirus lockdown that is in place until the end of August.
Lockdowns in Sydney mean residents are not allowed to leave their homes except for essential activities and exercise.
Last weekend’s protests led to some violent clashes between police and demonstrators as police attempted to disperse the crowds.
Organizers urged demonstrators to plan to gather on a different date in August, The Guardian reported.
The lockdown comes as the city is facing a coronavirus outbreak, with 210 new cases reported Saturday. The outbreak, which started last month, totals more than 3,000 cases.
New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said there are 198 people in the hospital in Sydney from the virus.
Australia has been largely successful in containing the virus during the pandemic, with only a little more than 34,000 total reported cases and more than 900 deaths.