LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Liverpool, the English port city that gave the world the Beatles, weathered decades of industrial decline before becoming a celebrated symbol of urban renewal. Now, the coronavirus is putting the city’s hard-won revival in jeopardy, and raising tensions between the north of England and the wealthier south.
Scarred by abandoned buildings and government neglect during the 1980s, Liverpool made itself vibrant again by promoting local culture, nightlife, soccer and ties to the Fab Four. However, Liverpudlians retained their mistrust of London politicians, and the virus pandemic has brought it to the surface.
As the first area in England slapped with strict new restrictions to curb the resurgent coronavirus that have shuttered pubs and imperiled thousands of jobs, Liverpool again feels it’s being punished by policies made in Britain’s capital, 180 miles (290 kilometers) to the south.
“At the beginning, when we all went into lockdown, it made sense. We were all doing it for a reason, and that was fine,” said pub owner Fiona Hornsby, who reluctantly shuttered her Bridewell bar in accordance with new curbs on business and socializing the government imposed this week.