Thousands of protesters gathered in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, on Sunday to protest COVID-19 restrictions and vaccinations, which they fear will become compulsory.
Photos taken by The Associated Press and others on social media showed large crowds carrying signs and other materials with anti-mask and anti-vaccine slogans, including one reading, “Say no to forced vaccination.”
ROMANIA pic.twitter.com/gfmq9sZDzz— Micke Bäckström 🗣️ 🇸🇪 Patriot 💕 (@BackstromMicke) March 7, 2021
The protests reportedly come in the face of a new round of two-week COVID-19 guidelines restricting parts of public life in the country. Romania previously relaxed COVID-19 rules earlier this year but faces a rising wave of new infections that health officials have yet to have much success in reversing.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory in Romania. It is provided to residents free of charge, and residents who have the vaccine are subject to fewer COVID-19 restrictions than others. Still, opinion polls in the country have recorded a high level of skepticism surrounding the vaccines, according to multiple media reports.