Several people were injured on Friday when Dutch police fired warning shots at rioters in Rotterdam angry over a new partial coronavirus lockdown.
“A demonstration that started tonight at 8pm on the Coolsingel has resulted in riots. Fires have been set in several places. Fireworks were set off and police fired several warning shots,” Rotterdam police reported.
“There are injuries related to the fired shots,” police said, without confirming the number of people injured.
The Netherlands went back into Western Europe's first partial lockdown of the winter last Saturday with the government announcing at least three weeks of curbs on restaurants, shops and sporting events.
At least one police car was set on fire during the protest, a police spokesman said.
Several electric scooters and other items were also torched.
Riot police later launched charges and used water cannons on the hundreds of demonstrators.
Local authorities issued an emergency order banning people from gathering in the area in a bid to prevent further violence.
Rotterdam's busy main railway station was also closed due to the disturbances.
“This is a very serious situation which requires action with the highest priority,” said the emergency order by the Rotterdam municipality.
“It is therefore necessary to issue this emergency order so as to maintain public order and to protect the safety of persons.”
The Netherlands brought back restrictions after Covid cases soared to record levels, with more than 21,000 new infections reported on Friday.
The Dutch lockdown measure came before other restrictions were announced over the past week in Austria and Germany.
The measures in the Netherlands include closing restaurants, cafes and supermarkets at 8pm, while non-essential shops must shut at 6pm.
People are limited to four visitors in their homes and have been advised to work from home unless absolutely necessary.
Public events have been scrapped while football matches must be played behind closed doors.
Schools remain open, however, and people are allowed to leave their homes without restrictions.