As the virus increases in Europe, resistance to new restrictions is also increasing

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“Everyone knows we dine in Spain much later than in other countries, so not being able to stay open until midnight is sheer economic nonsense,” said Florentino Pérez del Barsa, a restaurateur from Madrid.

While public attention often focuses on those who shout the loudest – like the thousands of people who recently demonstrated outside the Reichstag in Berlin and Trafalgar Square in London, calling the pandemic a hoax and government plot – they represent only about 10% of the public. , according to a German study.

About 20% of people are against the regulations, possibly for personal, emotional and financial reasons.

But Ms Betsch, who has worked with the WHO research group, said the biggest concern is around half of the population – the “gatekeepers”.

They are open to regulations, but must be listened to and educated, she said, and new fragmented government policies only add to the frustration.

The choices facing national governments are difficult.

The French government, watching with concern the filling of hospital beds, has extended its “red zone” of maximum alert to many large metropolises, including Lyon, Grenoble, Lille and Saint-Étienne, in addition to Paris, Marseille and Aix en Provence. . Residents of Toulouse protested on Friday fearing their city would be included.

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