- Title: Serbia backpedals from planned weekend lockdown after protests
- Date: 9th July 2020
- Summary: BELGRADE, SERBIA (JULY 9, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF SERBIAN GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTERS
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2020 16:14
- Keywords: Aleksandar Vucic Ana Brnabic Belgrade Serbia lockdown protests unrest
- Location: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- City: BELGRADE, SERBIA
- Country: Serbia
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001CM397BB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Serbia on Thursday (July 9) dropped plans for a weekend lockdown in the capital to curb a new spread of the coronavirus after two days of violent protests against any reimposition of restrictions.
Prime Minister Ana Brnbabic announced a more limited ban on outdoor and indoor public gatherings of more than 10 people, but did not rule out weekend lockdowns in the future if the new set of measures fails to yield results.
Reaction from Belgrade residents to the announcement was mixed. One, who identified herself as Marija, said the new measures would help restore calm after the unrest sparked by President Aleksandar Vucic's announcement of the new lockdown on Tuesday (July 7).
Fellow resident Jadranka said those protesting had been against a rapid loosening of measures in recent months. Pensioner Dragisa Komadinic said the new decision was a hoax and the government was "tormenting the people".
She echoed critics of the government who say allowing soccer matches, religious festivities, and private gatherings to resume in May and parliamentary elections to go ahead on June 21 are to blame for the new surge in infections.
The government blames a lack of sanitary discipline among the public, especially in nightclubs.
Serbia, a country of 7 million, has so far reported 17,076 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 341 deaths. The number of new infections rose to 357 on Wednesday (July 8) from 299 on Tuesday.
(Production: Fedja Grulovic, Boki Babic, Lewis Macdonald)
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