Tens of thousands of people without face masks marched in central London to protest recent coronavirus-related measures taken by the authorities. Chanting "freedom" and holding placards reading "Medical apartheid is wrong," "No to vaccine passports" and "This is Tyranny," the protesters took to the streets in open defiance of coronavirus rules still in place and Metropolitan Police advising people not to attend any large gatherings.
"Eight officers were injured as they worked to disperse crowds in Hyde Park this evening. Missiles including bottles were thrown in small pockets of disorder. Two officers were taken to hospital. Thankfully, they are not believed to be seriously injured," the police tweeted late on Saturday.
The authorities added that five people were arrested for offenses, including assault on police.
Lockdown restrictions in England began easing on March 8 with the reopening of schools, and since April 12 pubs and restaurants have been allowed to serve people in outdoor seating areas.
Up to six people from two different households are allowed to meet outdoors, as part of the government's roadmap out of the lockdown which, according to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will see all legal limits on social contact removed by June 21 at the earliest.