40 per cent of Britons want to keep masks forever

Two-thirds want Covid vaccines to be made mandatory until virus is brought under control globally

Charlene Rodrigues
Friday 09 July 2021 16:43
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<p>May’s growth driven largely by the services sector, says ONS</p>

May’s growth driven largely by the services sector, says ONS

A significant proportion of Britons want certain coronavrius restrictions to remain in place forever, as the government plans to soon scrap them in full.

A poll by Ipsos MORI for The Economist on Thursday shows that nearly 70 per cent want to see face masks made compulsory in shops and on public transport for a certain period after 19 July, when the government plans to lift all restrictions in England.

And 64 per cent would like them to remain in place until coronavirus is controlled worldwide.

But in the long term, 40 per cent of people want mask-wearing in shops and public transport to remain forever. Equally, 41 per cent oppose them altogether.

Ipsos MORI interviewed a sample of 1,025 British adults aged 16-75 from 2-3 July 2021.

There are other restrictions the public favour, despite the government's plan to end them on 19 July.

Nearly 70 per cent of Britons favour returning travellers quarantining for 10 days after returning to the UK, after 19 July.

Some 63 per cent want it to continue until the virus has been taken care of globally. A third would be happy to see the quarantine protocol become permanent, while 43 per cent would disagree.

The government has announced that double-jabbed travellers will be exempt from the quarantine rule when returning from ‘amber-list’ countries, after 19 July.

Two-thirds want proof of vaccination against coronavirus to be made mandatory for foreign travel for the month after that date, and the same number would like to see this protocol in place until the virus is brought under control globally.

More than 60 per cent are in favour of social distancing being compulsory in theatres, pubs and sports grounds for a further month, while 60 per cent would be happy for it to last the duration of the pandemic globally. Only a third support social distancing in the long run, while 46 per cent entirely disapprove.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said this latest polling backs up the public's support for many of the government's measures to control the virus.

"More people define themselves as supporters of the restrictions than opponents, and only a minority believe that the rules have been too strict."

"While support for restrictions tends to be stronger among older age groups, that age difference disappears when we ask about support for restrictions remaining in place permanently. If anything, older groups actually become more opposed," Skinner said.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson said Britain would have to "learn to live with this virus" as he outlined the final stages of the lockdown lifting roadmap.

The government announced it is removing restrictions on 19 July which means that people can get rid of their masks indoors, although people are advised to wear one where necessary. There will be no limits on social distancing or people gathering indoors, visiting art venues or performances.

Leading doctors across the country have warned the government must not throw away the progress the health service and public have achieved during the past 18 months by disregarding safety measures.

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