UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock pointed out that under present lockdown rules only groups of up to six people can meet outdoors while observing social distancing of two metres.
“Please, this weekend, avoid large gatherings – including demonstrations – to protect your loved ones & the NHS,” said Matt Hancock yesterday in an appeal for the public not to attend events to protest the death of George Floyd planned for this weekend, in order to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Mr Hancock said it was “vital” for those wishing to express their anger over the US killing to stick to social distancing rules and limit any protests to no more than six people “for the safety of your loved ones”.
The appeal came as Mr Hancock announced new rules requiring visitors and outpatients at NHS hospitals to wear face coverings and staff to wear surgical masks at all times from 15 June. Earlier on Friday, people got down on one knee for an anti-racism protest in London’s Trafalgar Square. They knelt two metres apart, carrying placards condemning racism.
Taking a knee is a peaceful gesture to protest against police brutality – the action first carried out by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem at an American Football game in 2016.
There are further protests in London set for this weekend, with thousands also expected to attend a demonstration in Bristol.