In the northern English city of Manchester, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson was absorbed in a row by the local mayor Andy Burnham on whether to move the city from the second level of restrictions to the strictest third level.
“If no agreement is reached, I will need to intervene to protect Manchester hospitals and save the lives of Manchester residents,” Johnson said on Friday, urging Burnham to “reconsider their position” and “interact constructively”; with the government.
But Burnham has resisted the government’s efforts to tighten its city, demanding additional funding to protect workers in the region who are subject to stricter rules.
Tensions are far from the first peak of the coronavirus in the UK, when all four countries have essentially gone into blockade in unison, and the commitment of regional authorities and the public has been given.
On the other hand, in some parts of the country there is confusion as to which rules they are required to follow, largely depending on the willingness of local authorities to follow government instructions.
In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan called for tougher rules a few days before Johnson announced them, while in Liverpool, Lancashire and other regions, agreements were reached with the government just before the weekend, with some advisers questioning the order.
But even where local leaders are subject to stricter rules, the public does not seem to be.
And a similar scenario unfolds across Europe as leaders face the difficulty of applying a “poor” approach to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The court said restrictions restricting residents from leaving the capital and nine suburbs last Friday hampered “the fundamental rights of citizens without a legal mandate.”
Spain’s left-wing national government and Madrid’s center-right regional administration have long been at loggerheads over the pandemic, and blockade measures are the last political battlefield.
And in Germany, many court orders create problems for Angela Merkel’s government as it struggles with the growing workload.
Most notably, a Berlin court on Friday sided with the government and a group of business owners, suspending a night curfew in the city’s bars and restaurants.
“It was not obvious” that the closure of food and beverages between 23:00 and 6 am would help fight the infection, the court found in the case. Thus, the event, which took effect on October 10, was a “disproportionate encroachment on the freedom” of the hospitality industry, the court said.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said he was “very disappointed” with the decision, saying that “there is no doubt that in big cities … especially in the late hours, what happens in private and public places is a factor in current infections , “according to AFP.
Emmanuel Macron will closely monitor the controversy that is taking place across Europe after the curfew in Paris and several other French cities, which took effect on Friday. To date, the French government has not faced serious opposition to the plan.
In addition to opposition from local lawmakers and affected business owners, police issues are confusing in some areas.
The chief constable of the Greater Manchester police reacted firmly on Saturday to a report in the Telegraph, which said there were “concerns” about whether officers would follow Burnham’s instructions and refuse to impose measures provided by the Johnson government.
“We conduct operational police without fear and commitment and in accordance with the code of ethics of police services together with colleagues across the country,” Ian Hopkins said in a statement.
But a flurry of challenges from councils and the hospitality industry is a headache for several European governments.
Meanwhile, cases continue to rise across the continent. The UK, Germany, Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic, along with other countries, recorded the highest levels of confirmed Covid 19 infections in October as leaders warn of potentially serious winter outbreaks.