Eleven people have been arrested at an anti-lockdown protest in Westminster, which saw demonstrators block a road and force traffic to a standstill on so-called "freedom day".

Protesters held signs and chanted "freedom" as they gathered in Parliament Square on Monday after all remaining coronavirus restrictions were lifted in England, including an end to social distancing rules.

The demonstration moved from Parliament Square to spread onto the road and up to the gates of the Palace of Westminster, leading Metropolitan Police officers to urge protesters to move out of the road.

An officer was seen to put a lock on a gate at the entrance to Parliament while those outside held signs with anti-vaccination and anti-police messages, with some chanting "shame on police" and "arrest Boris Johnson".

Many of the gathered protesters were also anti-vaccine activists, urging people not to get the jab.

Scotland Yard said 11 people have been arrested and the force tweeted: "A number of officers continue to respond to a demonstration in Parliament Square, Westminster.

"Eleven people have been arrested for a variety of offences. Our policing operation continues, sadly officers have been met with hostility while engaging with crowds."

The protest, in pictures

Huge crowds on Whitehall as anti-lockdown protesters gather on 'freedom day'

Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP

Eleven arrests at London anti-lockdown protest on day restrictions lifted

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

A woman is led away by police

Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

A group sit in the road, blocking traffic outside Parliament Square

Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Calls for caution on ‘freedom day’

Downing Street again urged a cautious approach to the new freedoms in England after people returned to nightclubs in the early hours of Monday.

Asked whether Boris Johnson was relaxed about the scenes from nightclubs, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: "As far as I’m aware those nightclubs are operating within the rules.

"We continue to urge nightclubs to use the Covid pass to enable them to check whether people have been double-jabbed or have had a recent negative tests – I think that’s in their interests and the interests of those attending."

The possibility of making the use of Covid passes compulsory would be considered "if necessary", the spokesman said.

Asked whether clubs could be closed again if deemed necessary, the spokesman said: "That would be a significant step. Our approach is to work closely with those businesses and encourage them to use that certification.

"We are reserving the right to mandate certification in certain venues, maybe at a later date if necessary, and we will keep that under review."