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Dominic Cummings’ trip partly to blame for public following lockdown rules less strictly, poll finds

One third of those following restrictions less closely cite Durham journey made by prime minister’s aide as factor

Adam Forrest
Wednesday 03 June 2020 12:01 BST
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A fifth of Britons are following the lockdown rules less strictly than before – with a third of those citing Dominic Cummings’​ actions as a factor, a survey has indicated.

The YouGov poll suggested that the vast majority of people in the UK – 73 per cent – followed the lockdown rules last week as strictly as they had in the previous week.

But of the 21 per cent who said they followed the rules less strictly, 32 per cent mentioned Boris Johnson’s senior adviser as one of the reasons for failing to follow the rules.

The poll suggests that in total 7 per cent of Britons may have used Mr Cummings’ actions as their justification for their own breaches of lockdown rules.

The prime minister has stood by his aide, who travelled from London to Durham during the lockdown because of concerns over who would look after his son if both he and his wife were incapacitated by coronavirus.

Durham Police concluded he may have committed a “minor breach” of the regulations by taking a trip to Barnard Castle but decided to take no further action.

The survey of just over 2,000 British adults on 28 to 29 May found that younger Britons were the most likely to have adhered less strictly to the rules than in the previous week.

Some 29 per cent of those aged 18 to 24, and a further 25 per cent of those aged 25 to 49 said their adherence to the rules had declined.

The survey also found 76 per cent felt the coronavirus situation was getting better, up from 58 per cent two weeks ago.

More than a third – 36 per cent – said restrictions should be more severe, but this is down from 42 per cent two weeks ago, while the proportion of those thinking the lockdown measures were about right increased from 42 per cent to 47 per cent.

Against a backdrop of political and business pressure to ease the two-metre social distancing rule, a separate survey found 49 per cent opposed reducing the distance to 1.5 metres, with 37 per cent in favour.

Those findings came from a snap poll of 1,565 British adults on 2 June.

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