Coronavirus: Anti-COVID German protesters perform haka in Berlin

German demonstrators protesting against ongoing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 have been filmed partaking in a haka, claiming the Māori war dance gives them "strength" against the virus. 

Their rendition of the Ka Mate haka was filmed as part of a compilation for the official YouTube channel of Der Spiegel, a popular German weekly news magazine.

The video, 'The Corona Soundtrack', features clips of a number of Germans from Berlin, Stuttgart and Bautzen questioning the authenticity of the virus and protesting against the country's ongoing restrictions. 

"For several weeks we have been reporting on demonstrations against the politics of coronavirus measures. The arguments against it are as simple as they are crazy: the virus does not exist, it is harmless and there are powerful elites behind it," Der Spiegel explained in the caption.

Led by a female protester in a Berlin square, the haka is performed by three demonstrators each wearing shirts emblazoned with the slogan: "I'm beautiful, I'm safe [or healthy], I'm wild, I'm free". A few children also clad in the same shirts can be seen.

Speaking to a Der Spiegel reporter, a participant claims the haka brings strength or power to those who perform it.

"That brings strength, the power of the earth, the strength is fire in your heart and breath," the man said, roughly translated. 

The reporter asks if the haka also helps against COVID-19, to which he loosely replies that it brings power against "the bringer".

The demonstrator claims the haka helps against COVID-19, as it brings "strength" from the earth and "fire in your heart".
The demonstrator claims the haka helps against COVID-19, as it brings "strength" from the earth and "fire in your heart". Photo credit: Der Spiegel / YouTube

The clip was shared to the New Zealand subreddit on Tuesday, in which a German user apologised for the performance by "Covidiots".

"So sorry from Germany, Covidiots practicing what they think is a Haka!?," they wrote.

"Top level cringe mate!" one Reddit user wrote.

"That's it, I'm becoming an NZ resident and will throw away my German citizenship," joked another.

"F**k that's embarrassing," one user commented bluntly.

Strict border restrictions are still currently in force in Germany, preventing travellers from the US and other select countries from entering the country. Nations on its 'positive list' - such as New Zealand and Australia - are exempt and allowed "unrestricted entry" into Germany. 

Like in New Zealand, new arrivals are required to self-isolate for 14 days and must return a negative test result.

People are currently asked to cover their mouth and nose when travelling on public transport or shopping in stores, although protocol is subject to local regulation, as outlined by the German Embassy in Wellington.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, German authorities also ask people to follow common public health measures, such as practicing sneezing etiquette, good hand hygiene and maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres in public.

Violations against the restrictions are punishable under the Protection Against Infection Act, according to health officials, and breachers can be fined up to 25,000 euros (NZ$44,000). In more serious cases, imprisonment is also possible.

Germany has recorded more than 245,000 cases of the virus and more than 9300 deaths.