ANGELA Merkel and Emmanuel Macron are facing mutinies in their own countries over lockdown measures.
Leaders of Paris have threatened a three week lockdown while the German chancellor is facing criticism about her caution over lifting restrictions as EU’s vaccine woes continue.
Angela Merkel is facing a mutiny among German states pressing ahead with easing lockdowns[/caption]
Leaders of Paris want to put the city into a lockdown, in a direct challenge to Macron[/caption]
A man waits to get the Covid-19 vaccine in Brussels[/caption]
Both countries vaccination programmes have been thrown into chaos as thousands refuse to have the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab after leaders questioned its effectiveness.
Merkel has said there can only be further easing may only be carried out if the number of Covid cases per 100,000 people is below 35.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, the country’s public health authority, there are currently around 61.7 cases per 100,000 people.
But some German states are pressing ahead with reopening despite their case numbers being much higher.
Baden-Württemberg which has an infection rate of 48.4 says it wants to opens flower shops and garden centres on March 1st, Bild reports.
Its government said that further relaxation “cannot be ruled out” and “does not expect that we will reach an incidence of 35 anytime soon”.
Other states including Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate and Brandenburg are planning similar measures while others are also looking at opening hairdressers and outdoor visitor attractions.
Uptake of Covid vaccine in France and Germany has been slow[/caption]
Meanwhile, Paris deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire said a three-week lockdown to help restore normality in the French capital.
The measure would give “hope of everything reopening again” including cafes and cultural establishments.
“You can’t force yourself to live in a semi-prison for months. Now you have to make courageous decisions,” he said.
Macron’s government is desperately trying to avoid a third lockdown and critics have slammed the call as electioneering ahead of a possible presidential bid by Mayor Anne Hidalgo next year.
“Anne Hidalgo cannot use Parisians, play with their life and future, for the sake of PR stunts aimed above all at opposing Emmanuel Macron,” the right-wing Change Paris group.
The controversy comes after the French Riviera around Nice and the northern coastal city of Dunkirk – two coronavirus hotspots – were placed this week under weekend lockdown.
It comes as a German virologist today revealed the country was sitting on a whopping 1.2 million Oxford jabs – after EU leaders repeatedly made baseless allegations about its efficacy.
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Merkel has said she will not take the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine because at aged 66 she says is too old, despite begging Germans to take the jab.
She has not ruled out the possibility of introducing areas where non-vaccinated people are banned from entering.
The chancellor revealed in an interview with newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Germany will consider restricting certain areas or places to people who have been vaccinated.