Anti-lockdown protests erupt in Italy and Spain with thousands taking to streets

27 October 2020, 09:28 | Updated: 27 October 2020, 11:15

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Turin
Police fire tear gas at protesters in Turin. Picture: AP

By Asher McShane

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Italy and Spain to protest coronavirus lockdown rules.

In Italy protests erupted in Turin, Milan and other cities to vent their anger at the latest pandemic restrictions.

In Turin a peaceful protest descended into violence with demonstrators smashing windows on a shopping street, setting off smoke bombs and hurling bottles at police.

A group of "ultras" are said to have been behind the violence in the city.

Five of the protesters were detained by authorities.

Violence erupted in Italy and Spain over lockdown
Violence erupted in Italy and Spain over lockdown. Picture: AP

In Milan, police used tear gas to scatter protesters

The protests began after the government ordered bars, cafes and restaurants to close their doors at 6pm for the next 30 days.

The decree effectively wiped out most of the restaurants' already reduced revenue in the pandemic, although takeaways and delivery can continue until midnight.

Police detained at least 5 people after violence erupted in Turin
Police detained at least 5 people after violence erupted in Turin. Picture: AP

The crackdown was announced on Sunday, a day after Italy registered more than a half million confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic's outbreak.

In Barcelona, demonstrators started fires in the street before riot police intervened.

It came just one day after Spain declared a second nation-wide state of emergency covering all regions except the Canary Islands.

It will initially last for 15 days but the Government plans to ask parliament for a six-month extension, meaning the restrictions could remain until early May 2021.

The rules in Spain include an 11pm to 6am curfew.