Protesters gathered on the Labor Day holiday in Santiago’s central square, many shouting and displaying signs that railed against abuse of workers and a sharp rise in layoffs in the South American nation.
Calls to protest on social media warned those who attended the rally to “use gloves, masks and alcohol gel,” but police said demonstrators had failed to adhere to a nationwide rule against gatherings of more than 50 people.
Police officers clad in plastic-screened helmets and olive uniforms herded protesters into police vehicles, while water cannons mounted on trucks nearby dispersed others.
The first cases of the virus hit Chile in early March. On Friday, the health officials confirmed 17,008 infections and 234 deaths.