Huge crowds protested in London on Saturday against the coronavirus restrictions implemented in Britain — the mandatory use of masks and the possible introduction of so-called vaccine passports.

In the country, which was among one of the worst-hit in Europe, COVID-19 restrictions gradually began to lift last month after months of restrictions and a successful mass vaccination campaign.

Months of restrictions alongside a successful vaccine rollout — with more than 45 million doses administered — has seen the situation improve.

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Starting from the month of April, pubs were allowed to serve customers outdoors and non-essential shops reopened.

However, the demonstrators marched along several major arteries, including the main shopping district Oxford Street, with videos and photos showing thousands in attendance.

Hundreds then rallied in Hyde Park late afternoon following the march, an AFP reporter said.

Organisers used various websites and online platform pages to encourage turnout, despite curbs that limit outdoor gatherings to 30 people.

Under the lockdown measure, an exception for protests carries requirements including a COVID-19 risk assessment being conducted.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police Service said on Twitter said, “Anyone coming into London for a protest must make sure their gathering is lawful, with a risk assessment carried out by the organiser.”

“Officers are on-site and will continue to engage with those present,” it later added of the Hyde Park protest.

Although there were no reports of arrests by late afternoon.

Anti-lockdown protests by hundreds or even thousands have occurred sporadically during the pandemic, often resulting in a small number of arrests.

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England’s latest COVID-19 lockdown measures have been in place since early January after the UK saw a surge in cases.

Pandemic indicators such as infections, hospitalisations and deaths are at levels not seen since last September.

Another major easing is due in mid-May, when some indoor socialising can resume, before nearly all restrictions are ended in late June.