Over 40,000 march in Vienna against lockdown

Faced with surging daily infections, the government last month made Austria the first country in Western Europe to reimpose a lockdown and said it would make vaccinations mandatory from February.

People carried signs saying: "My body my choice", "Make Austria Great Again" and "New Elections" - a nod to the political turmoil that has seen three chancellors within two months - as crowds gathered.

Around 1,200 police officers deployed to handle scattered protests that were supposed to merge into a march on the Ring boulevard in central Vienna.

Officers used pepper spray against some protesters who aimed fireworks at police, and detained some marchers, police said.