Arrests made across several areas as hundreds took to the streets to protest lockdown (Picture: Getty/Mercury)

Anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police at marches on Saturday as hundreds took to the streets in a fight against coronavirus restrictions.

Dozens of people have been arrested following rallies in Liverpool, London, Ipswich and Bournemouth.

Police made 13 arrests in Liverpool while four were detained at a rally at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.

The protest in Liverpool began at around 1pm and started with around 100 people gathering on Church Street in the city centre before the group grew in size.

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Some protesters were reportedly pepper sprayed as they grappled with officers on the ground.

Those arrested were held on suspicion of breaches of coronavirus regulations and committing public order offences.

A 36-year-old man from Kirkby was also arrested on suspicion of assault of an emergency worker after an officer was pushed to the chest.

As well as the arrests, a further 25 people were issued fixed penalty notices for breaking Covid rules.


A crowd of anti-lockdown protesters in Liverpool
Anti-lockdown protesters gather in Liverpool (Picture: Mercury Press)

 A man is arrested and pepper sprayed at a large anti lockdown protest in Liverpool
Protesters were seen clashing with police in Liverpool City Centre (Picture: Mercury Press)

An anti-lockdown protester holds up a sign saying stop the new normal
Similar scenes were seen in Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)

Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine, of Merseyside Police, said the protesters were hurling ‘mindless abuse’ at police and condemned their actions.

She said: ‘The vast majority of people in Merseyside have made huge sacrifices since March, missing weddings, funerals and family celebrations in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

‘We have seen infection rates driven down in Merseyside thanks to the commitment of so many people, and already more than 140,000 have taken part in a mass testing pilot here in Merseyside to help the national effort to protect life and get back to normality. They are a credit to this county.

‘So it will be incredibly frustrating for all those people to see that a minority of selfish individuals chose to flout laws brought in to protect the lives of people, putting our communities and themselves at risk.’

A dispersal order was put in place in Liverpool city centre ahead of the unlawful gathering.

Under the rules of the lockdown no more than two people from different households are allowed to meet up outdoors.


Anti-lockdown protesters march through Bournemouth
Anti-lockdown protesters marched through the town centre of Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon (Picture: Getty)

An anti-lockdown protester holds up a freedom sign
Protesters in Bournemouth were seen holding signs that read ‘freedom’ (Picture: Getty)

A anti-lockdown protester holds up a the pandemic is over sign
Three people were arrested at the Bournemouth protest (Picture: Getty )

Many protesters were pictured ignoring social distancing and not wearing a mask.

Superintendent Ngaire Waine said the protesters actions have put the health of others at risk.

She said: ‘Our officers – deployed to encourage people to do the right thing and to carry out enforcement to protect the public – have been subjected to mindless abuse from many of those gathered, but continued to carry out their duties with complete professionalism.

‘This pandemic has, understandably, left many fearful of contracting and passing on coronavirus. The sight of a large group in the city centre will alarm many who are now well aware of the risk large groups can pose to the spreading of this virus.’


An anti-lockdown protester is seen in a Guy Fawkes mask
An anti-lockdown protester is seen in a Guy Fawkes mask as the march heads through the town centre in Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)

Anti-lockdown protesters march through Bournemouth
Gatherings of more than two people are currently banned (Picture: Getty)

An anti lockdown protester tries to get past police in Liverpool
Police condemned the protesters for putting the health of others at risk (Picture: Mercury Press)

She said that those who refused orders to leave the area will be faced with enforcement action.

‘Their actions have posed a significant risk to public health, and we will continue to study CCTV and bodycam to identify offenders and bring them to justice,’ she said.

There were similar scenes on the south coast, with people seen marching through Bournemouth holding placards reading ‘freedom’ and ‘the pandemic is over’.

It is the second week in a row anti-lockdown protesters took to the streets in the seaside town.

Around 100 people gathered in the area of The Square before being dispersed at around 2.45pm, according to the Bournemouth Echo. Two people were arrested.

The Ipswich Star reports that three were arrested during anti-lockdown protests in the town.  It prompted warnings from Suffolk Police that gatherings will not be tolerated and there is no exemption for people participating in protests.

The demonstrations come as the UK records another 341 deaths, bringing the total toll to 54,626.

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Source: Metro