Thousands of people have gathered in European capitals to protest health passports, compulsory vaccinations and other requirements governments have imposed in hopes of ending the coronavirus pandemic.
Demonstrations took place in Athens, Helsinki, London, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm.
Marches in Paris drew hundreds of demonstrators protesting the introduction from Monday of a new COVID-19 pass.
It will severely restrict the lives of those who refuse to get vaccinated by banning them from domestic flights, sports events, bars, cinemas and other leisure venues.
Marches in Paris drew hundreds of demonstrators protesting the introduction from Monday of a new COVID-19 pass. Source: AP
French media reported that demonstrators also marched by the hundreds in other cities.
In Sweden, where vaccine certificates are required to attend indoor events with more than 50 people, about 3,000 demonstrators marched through central Stockholm and assembled in a main square for a protest organised by the Frihetsrorelsen or Freedom Movement.
A similar demonstration with 1,000 participants was held also in Goteborg, Sweden's second-largest city.
The Finnish government authorised local and regional authorities just before Christmas to introduce "extensive and full measures" in response to rising virus cases involving the Omicron variant.
The restrictions included limiting or prohibiting events, moving university classes online, limiting restaurant service and closing venues where people have a higher risk of exposure.
Restaurants and events are allowed to require vaccine passports.
Police said 4,000 people marched on Saturday through the streets of central Helsinki to protest.
A group called World Wide Demonstration organised the demonstration.
No unrest or violence was reported to police.
In Sweden, where vaccine certificates are required to attend indoor events with more than 50 people, about 3000 demonstrators marched though central Stockholm. Source: AAP
In Germany, police said more than 1,000 people protested peacefully in the western cities of Stuttgart and Offenbach.
In Stuttgart, the demonstrators stopped in front of the building of public broadcaster SWR to criticise the media's coverage of the pandemic.
They repeated calls of "Lugenpresse" (lying press) and "Wir sind das Volk" (We are the people), a witness said.
The police meanwhile told participants to wear protective face masks.
A journalists' union criticised the protest and repudiated the accusation that SWR is told what to report.
"At the same time, to demand that media should report in their own terms is absurd. This reveals little understanding of how independent media works," said Markus Pfalzgraf who heads the state branch of the German Journalists' Association.