More than 100 people took the streets of Valletta on Sunday afternoon to protest against COVID-19 measures, which they described as “dictatorial”.

Protestors, some of whom were without masks, said the current pandemic rules were curbing their individual freedom.

New measures to curb the virus were announced by Health Minister Chris Fearne earlier in the week.

As of Monday, all events have to be seated with the exception of weddings and funerals.

All establishments have to shut down by 1am and no spectators are allowed at sports events.

Moreover, from January 17 only those who are vaccinated can go to bars, restaurants, gyms, pools, cinemas and sporting events.

Video: Matthew Mirabelli

Walking down Republic Street, protestors chanted "let us breathe", “no green pass", "leave our children alone" and "Nazi dictatorship".

Ten police officers on site were checking that protestors were wearing a mask, which is obligatory.

At one point, they took one protestor away after he refused to wear a mask and to give his details.

He was seen back with the crowd later.

Organisers told participants to respect the police and cooperate.

But others shouted that they should not have to keep their mask on during such a protest.

One man told Times of Malta that different people were protesting for different reasons.

"I took the vaccine and the booster, I'm not against the vaccine but I'm against how I am fully vaccinated and I still need to wear a mask. It doesn't make sense," he said.

Speaking at the protest, Paul R Chetcuti demanded answers from the authorities.

"This time last year, the cases were much lower and we had no vaccines. Now, 90% of the population is vaccinated and we have hit records in new cases - what is going on,” he asked.

He also said children should not be vaccinated.

"Our children are not for there to be experimented upon. What will happen next? Will they start demanding vaccine certificates for classrooms, schools and workplaces," he asked.

He said that announcing new measures just days before Christmas had disrupted families at a time when they needed to stick together.

"This fake pandemic is breaking up families and loved ones. We need to know the reality of what is happening in this COVID-19 situation. We deserve to know," he insisted.

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