LONDON (1) – London police arrested 19 individuals on Saturday for intentionally breaking social distancing tips in protest against the foundations, on the primary weekend since Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a slight loosening of England’s lockdown.

The Metropolitan Police mentioned {that a} group in central London’s Hyde Park had been protesting concerning the authorities’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and had didn’t adjust to repeated requests to disperse.

“It was disappointing {that a} comparatively small group in Hyde Park got here collectively to protest the rules in clear breach of the steering, placing themselves and others at threat of an infection,” Laurence Taylor, Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, mentioned in a press release.

“Officers as soon as once more, took a measured strategy and tried to have interaction the group to disperse. They clearly had no intention of doing so, and so it did lead to 19 individuals being arrested, and an additional ten being issued with a set penalty discover.”

Final Sunday, Johnson outlined plans to ease the lockdown, and folks in England at the moment are allowed to satisfy with one other particular person from a special family in a park. Nonetheless social distancing should be maintained underneath the foundations, and gatherings of enormous teams usually are not allowed.

The protesters represented a minority of these the police encountered on Saturday, Taylor mentioned.

“It was pleasing to see that individuals had been largely compliant with the federal government steering. The place they weren’t, and after we engaged with them, they rapidly had been,” he mentioned.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; extra reporting by Peter Nicholls; Modifying by Alexandra Hudson