More than a third of people want government to enforce another lockdown to stem Covid cases, poll finds

Nearly 40 per cent of poll respondents are calling for another lockdown as flu season begins

Celine Wadhera
Monday 01 November 2021 20:37
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<p>A pedestrian wearing a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walks past a closed-down shop in the City of London in January 2021 </p>

A pedestrian wearing a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, walks past a closed-down shop in the City of London in January 2021

Following a spike in Covid cases across the UK, more than a third of people want the government to impose another lockdown to slow the spread of the virus, a poll by The Independent has found.

Nearly 40 per cent of respondents said that they wanted another lockdown due to concerns around rising Covid infections and NHS capacity as the country enters flu season.

Although overall Covid cases have fallen from the 56,000 seen in mid-October, nearly 20 per cent of local areas across the UK are still witnessing climbing case counts, particularly in the East Midlands.

Moreover, related deaths and hospital admissions continue to rise. According to the latest government data, 74 deaths were reported on 31 October, within 28 days of a positive test, and over the last week, deaths are up more than 15 per cent compared to the previous week. Similarly, 1,038 patients were admitted to hospital on 25 October, which represents an increase of six per cent above the previous week.

Last week, The Independent asked readers whether they thought the government should enforce another lockdown in response to rising Covid cases.

Out of nearly 700 respondents, 39 per cent said that the government should impose another lockdown, while 31 per cent were opposed to the measure. Another 31 per cent said that the government should increase existing restrictions to tackle rising cases while stopping short of imposing another lockdown.

Meanwhile, annual winter pressures on the NHS have started to rise. The health service witnessed the busiest September on record, with major A&E departments treating more than 1.39 million people during the month, while also caring for thousands of Covid patients.

The government has consistently said that it has no plans to reimpose lockdown measures, or even activate plan B, which would require a return to working from home, mandatory face masks and vaccine passports.

Speaking to reporters from the G20 summit in Rome on Sunday, prime minister Boris Johnson said: “I see no evidence whatever to think that any kind of lockdown is on the cards.

“We’re watching the numbers every day. Yes it’s true that cases are high, but they do not currently constitute any reason to go to plan B.”

Rather than moving towards new restrictions, the prime minister urged everyone to take a booster jab as soon as they are invited to do so.

To date, 13.8 per cent of those aged 12 and older have received a third dose of a Covid vaccine in the UK, while nearly 80 per cent have received two doses.

This article was amended on 8 November 2021. It previously stated that a majority of people wanted the government to enforce another lockdown, and this was inaccurate. While the single biggest group of those polled did want to see another lockdown, they were only 39 per cent of respondents. The total proportion of those who did not want another lockdown was more than 60 per cent, and therefore constituted a majority against another lockdown. We are happy to set the record straight.

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