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Bizarre moment Melbourne police kick footballs and serenade families with a guitar at Covid protest

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Protesters attending a ‘freedom rally’ were bizarrely treated to Victorian police kicking and serenading footballs with an acoustic guitar.

Saturday’s anti-vaccination protests in Melbourne were greeted with a strong police presence and 100 arrests, but Sunday seemed a much more subdued affair.

Protesters, many of whom were not wearing masks, gathered in Caulfield Park in eastern Melbourne – and although police arrived, their approach was far from that of recent protests.

Victoria police managed to avoid violence in responding to ‘acoustic picnic takeover’ protest by Melbourne anti-vaxxers

Cops were seen kicking around a football and playing guitar at Caulfield Park in eastern Melbourne on Sunday (pictured)

Cops were seen kicking around a football and playing guitar at Caulfield Park in eastern Melbourne on Sunday (pictured)

The park’s online “acoustic picnic takeover” seemed like little more than a peaceful outdoor gathering.

With groups of five fully vaccinated adults now allowed to gather outside in Melbourne, protesters mingled with those legally on picnics.

An officer grabbed an unmasked man’s acoustic guitar and serenaded the crowd, while other officers played with the people in the park — many of whom had small children.

In other parts of the city, scenes were not so peaceful with at least one arrest in Melbourne CBD on Sunday afternoon.

Victoria Police said they could not release arrest numbers for Sunday but were aware of “protest activity in several locations across the state today.”

“Police are well prepared to respond to any unlawful activity and will not hesitate to impose fines on those who clearly and blatantly violate the health officer’s instructions,” the police told the Daily Mail Australia.

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A planned ‘acoustic park takeover’ had minimal turnout with protesters mingling with those just having a picnic (pictured)

Victoria's rules allow a maximum of five fully vaccinated people to gather outside, while only two unvaccinated people can gather

Victoria’s rules allow a maximum of five fully vaccinated people to gather outside, while only two unvaccinated people can gather

“The Victoria Police Department will continue to be highly visible to maintain public safety and to ensure that illegal protest activities do not interfere with the wider community’s right to conduct their daily lives.”

Under Covid restrictions for Melbourne – which is still in lockdown – residents can travel up to 15km from their home for recreation.

Fully vaccinated adults can gather in groups of five, while unvaccinated Melburnians can gather in groups of two.

Outdoor fitness equipment and skate parks are also open.

On Sunday, Victoria announced another 1,220 new locally acquired Covid cases.

Two days earlier, the Victorian government announced a major expansion of its mandatory Covid-19 vaccination requirements – sparking Saturday’s protests.

Protesters were met by a heavy police presence, and officers saw at least one protester on the ground tackle before the group dispersed.

Many families enjoyed mild Melbourne weather on Sunday, with planned protests for Caulfield Park canceled (pictured)

Many families enjoyed mild Melbourne weather on Sunday, with planned protests for Caulfield Park canceled (pictured)

More than 100 people were arrested and fined for violating public health regulations.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews issued an ultimatum to hundreds of thousands of Victorians: get vaccinated within two weeks or risk losing your job.

All Victorian authorized workers must have their first vaccine dose by Oct. 15 and a second by Nov. 26 in order to continue working locally, as part of a new statewide mandate.

The demand will affect store staff, personal trainers, MPs, journalists, religious leaders, judges, police, lawyers, actors and professional athletes.

The October 15 deadline will not replace the separate timelines of Victoria’s vaccine mandate for aged care, health care, freight, construction and education.

Meanwhile, state treasurer Tim Pallas announced $196.6 million in cash grants to 70,000 businesses in Melbourne, Geelong and Mitchell affected by the construction freeze from September 21 to October 4.

Eligible sole proprietorships receive a one-time payment of $2,000, increasing to $2,800 for companies with annual payrolls of up to $650,000, $5,600 for payrolls between $650,000 and $3 million, and $8400 for companies with up to $3 million. spend $10 million.

Police chat with a Melburnian while another cop enjoys playing soccer after weeks of violent protests (pictured)

Police chat with a Melburnian while another cop enjoys playing soccer after weeks of violent protests (pictured)

The industry has been closed for two weeks amid concerns over rising cases, transmission and poor compliance on construction sites, but will reopen on Tuesday to workers vaccinated with at least one dose.

Pallas was critical of the federal government, saying that ‘these grants would have doubled if the Commonwealth had not refused to contribute to the Victorian construction industry’.

“It is incomprehensible or understandable why this industry, which will of course struggle as a result of the challenges they have faced in recent weeks, is not getting the support they would otherwise expect,” he said.

He said NSW had received more than double the amount of Victoria’s federal disaster payments, citing data released this week showing NSW received $6.15 billion, compared to $2.4 billion for Victoria.

“With every step during this pandemic, NSW has been awarded a free kick by the Sydney Prime Minister,” Pallas said.

Police attended Caulfield Park during Sunday's planned protest, but the event hissed

Police attended Caulfield Park during Sunday’s planned protest, but the event hissed

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