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UK public strongly in favour of lockdown continuing, poll shows

More than four in five are against measures being eased for schools, pubs and restaurants

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 03 May 2020 15:50 BST
Man carried away by police during anti-lockdown protest in London

The majority of the British public are in favour of continuing the coronavirus lockdown, according to a new survey.

The Opinium poll for The Observer found that more than four in five Britons are against lockdown measures being eased for schools, pubs and restaurants.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson said the country had passed the peak of Covid-19 infections and that he would soon set out a “road map” for easing measures.

However, only 17 per cent of the 2,000 people polled thought the time was right to consider reopening schools, with fewer thinking that conditions had been met to allow cinemas, sporting stadiums and nightclubs to open their doors.

The poll was conducted between Wednesday and Friday and showed that 79 per cent of people were continuing to follow lockdown restrictions into their sixth week.

According to the poll, 14 per cent of people are “starting to be more relaxed” about bending lockdown rules, with 3 per cent saying they never followed them strictly.

A quarter of people said they had left their home for exercise for more than an hour, 15 per cent had used the premise of shopping for essentials as a reason for being outside, and 13 per cent had met up with friends and family for a walk.

One in 12 (8 per cent) said they had sat in a beer garden despite pubs being closed, and 9 per cent said they had used the NHS shopping hour despite not working in the health service.

The UK’s death toll is edging closer to that of Italy, which is the highest in Europe at 28,710, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Last week, Mr Johnson said he would not want to risk a second peak in the disease by relaxing restrictions too quickly, with the government saying five tests would have to be met.

Among them was a falling death rate, the R value – reflecting the coronavirus infection rate – falling below one, and satisfaction that supplies of testing and personal protective equipment are able to meet future demand.

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