A YouGov survey revealed that the vast majority of the British public supports the new national lockdown that Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in early January. Of the 4,340 people surveyed, 85% support the new national lockdown, including 62% who state they “strongly” support the new measures. The survey revealed that only 11% oppose the new lockdown, including 5% and 6% who are “somewhat” and “strongly” opposed, respectively. Support was strongest among the over 65’s (92%) although a majority of all age groups were in favour of the new measures.
The new nationwide lockdown has similar rules to those of the first lockdown in March 2020. According to the new rules, people are urged to stay at home and work from home if possible, all non-essential stores are closed and outdoor exercise is limited to once a day.
When asked about the timing of the new measures, 77% stated the new lockdown “should have been introduced sooner”. 11% found the timing to be right with 3% saying the lockdown was introduced “too soon.”
Most respondents to the survey think that the lockdown will be effective at reducing cases of Covid-19, with 15% saying it will be “very” effective and 54% saying it will be “somewhat” effective. 20% of respondents doubted the effectiveness of the lockdown, with 13% and 7% stating “not very effective” and “not effective at all”, respectively.
Despite the overwhelming support for the new restrictions, Bloomberg reported that Britons are more active now compared to the first lockdown. Government data shows traffic on UK roads is at 63% of pre-pandemic levels, compared to 35% in early April. Moreover, public transport use has increased by four times compared to the start of the first lockdown.
With no end in sight and almost a year under some form of restriction, hopefully support will not give way to fatigue.
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