Watch: UK Covid-19 unrest as L

Crowds in Liverpool, UK, blocking the streets as a police car attempted to move through them. Screenshot: Liverpool Echo.

Watch: UK Covid-19 unrest as Liverpudlians clash with police and Mancunian students tear down ‘prison-like’ fencing

Under England’s new three-tier system of local lockdown measures, different parts of the country will be split up into ‘medium,’ ‘high,’ or ‘very high’ local coronavirus alert areas.
Liverpool has been placed in the ‘very high’ category.

Watch: UK Covid-19 unrest as L

Crowds in Liverpool, UK, blocking the streets as a police car attempted to move through them. Screenshot: Liverpool Echo.

Protestors in the English cities of Liverpool and Manchester have taken to the streets after being subjected to tougher coronavirus lockdown restrictions, leading to arrests and fines.

Liverpool was awash with protesters on Thursday night as local residents came together to protest against the government’s heightened Covid-19 restrictions.

Liverpool became the first English city to be subjected to a mass Covid-19 testing trial, with around 2,000 British military personnel drafted in to increase capacity at test sites. 

The pilot scheme will offer everyone living and working in Liverpool the opportunity to have repeat coronavirus tests over the two-week trial period.

It comes amid fears that the new technology, which provides rapid results within 20 minutes, was missing up to half of Covid-19 infections.

Ahead of the pilot scheme, police responded to reports of huge crowds gathering at St George’s Hall in the city center. The demonstrators were dispersed but gathered again later Thursday evening at Pier Head. 

Three arrests were made and 13 people were fined for their part in the disturbance. Videos by the RT-affiliated Ruptly video agency also showed pepper spray being deployed.

One Liverpool protestor compared the lockdown to the panic created by the millennium bug, which he said, turned out to be unjustified.

“I’m worried about my kids. But what it is, is right, is I got onto this sort of thing, remember the year 2000, ‘millennium bug,’ when they scared the life out of the world for six months? This [is] the same thing. Fear is a great controller. So basically, we’re being controlled using fear.”

Liverpool was the first city in England to be hit with the highest regional coronavirus restrictions on October 14 but is now subjected to the even stricter measures of the national lockdown until December 2.

The public will not be able to visit pubs, gyms, betting shops and casinos.

Manchester mayhem

Meanwhile, university students in Manchester marched around their Fallowfield campus in protest against the increased restrictions, including the erection of a perimeter fence around their halls as a “security measure” to “help avoid the mixing of households.”

In footage published by Ruptly, students can be seen cheering as the fencing was torn down. 

There is fencing around the whole outside, we feel like it’s completely unnecessary. It makes it feel like we’re in a prison,” one of the students told the BBC. The university subsequently apologized for putting up the fence and said it would be removed. 

Many students in Manchester and across the country have been isolating for weeks and have not received face-to-face tutoring, despite paying £9,000 a year for their university education. 

Both cities, Liverpool and Manchester, have been deemed epicenters of the second wave of the coronavirus in the UK and faced local restrictions before the national lockdown came into effect Thursday.

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