UK is not ready for lockdown to lift: 80% of Britons say they would not feel safe going back to normal life with HALF now resigned to curbs lasting into June – despite 43% saying their mental health has been harmed
- EXCLUSIVE: Poll finds majority of Britons would not feel safe if lockdown ends
- Around half are now resigned to curbs lasting into June despite mental health hit
- Nearly 60 per cent say they would not be comfortable leaving the house
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Britain is not ready for the coronavirus lockdown to be lifted even if the government wanted to, a poll revealed today.
Research for MailOnline found 80 per cent would not feel safe going back to everyday life at the moment, with nearly 60 per cent saying they are not comfortable leaving the house.
Around half are now resigned to the draconian ‘social distancing’ curbs being in place into June – and 37 per cent say they will keep obeying the rules indefinitely if the government believes it is necessary.
The extraordinary findings in the polling by Redfield & Wilton come despite some 43 per cent reporting that the crisis is damaging their mental health.
The figures underline the challenge for ministers amid fears that the message that people must stay at home to save the NHS has been too successful.
Research for MailOnline by Redfield & Wilton found 80 per cent would not feel safe going back to everyday life at the moment
Around half the public are now resigned to the draconian ‘social distancing’ curbs being in place into June
Government advisers have admitted to being surprised by the extent to which Britons have been obeying the regime, with politicians increasingly alarmed at the huge consequences for the economy and Treasury finances.
The OBR watchdog warned this week that GDP is set to plunge by a third and two million jobs could be destroyed due to the lockdown measures.
Pressure is mounting for a ‘exit strategy’ – but the Cobra emergency committee will formally extend the curbs for another three weeks later.
The Redfield & Wilton research, conducted yesterday, will be reassuring for the government amid growing criticism of its slow initial response and progress on mass testing.
Nearly two third approve of Boris Johnson’s performance as PM, with 25 per cent voicing strong approval,
Specifically on the coronavirus crisis, his approval is nearly as high at 59 per cent.
Nearly half said they now had a more positive view of Mr Johnson, who was rushed to hospital with the deadly disease himself last week.
Some 54 per cent said it would be sensible for the PM to take part in decisions on lockdown, even though he has only just been discharged from intensive care, with 31 per cent thinking he should stay clear.
Four-fifths would feel unsafe going to a bar or restaurant if lockdown lifted now, and 62 per cent would feel unsafe going back to work
The extraordinary findings in the polling by Redfield & Wilton come despite some 43 per cent reporting that the crisis is damaging their mental health
Specifically on the coronavirus crisis, Mr Johnson approval level is running at 59 per cent
In slightly worse news for Health Secretary Matt Hancock, two-fifths say he should resign if the government misses its target of conducting 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of this month. Another 28 per cent say he should cling on even if the goal is not achieved.
The expectations for the length of the lockdown have extended since a previous poll last month.
Just 5 per cent now think that social distancing will ease by the end of April. Some 14 per cent predicted a loosening by mid-May, and 27 per cent by the end of that month.
But 30 per cent suggested the lockdown will be in force in June – well beyond the three-week extension mooted so far – and another 17 per cent anticipate it running into July.
There is little sign of the public losing its resolve, one of the main concerns for ministers before the curbs came into place.
Some 37 per cent say they will keep obeying the rules indefinitely if the government believes it is necessary
Some 37 per cent say they would be willing to tolerate the current lockdown measures “however much longer the Government deems necessary even if it is beyond the end of June”.
Just 1 per cent say they are no longer willing to tolerate the shutdown.
Nearly half – 43 per cent – would not feel safe leaving the house if ministers lifted the lockdown immediately.
Four-fifths would feel unsafe going to a bar or restaurant, 80 per cent would be wary of public transport, and 62 per cent would feel unsafe going back to work.
Just 15 per cent would feel safe attending a sporting event, and 69 per cent would want to avoid going to hospital for a non-coronavirus issue.
Overall 80 per cent said they would not resume ‘life as normal’ if the lockdown was lifted imminently.
A quarter suggested the lockdown measures should not be eased until there have been ‘several days’ with zero new cases of the virus.
There is limited confidence in the government’s plan to get out of the crisis, with 31 per cent saying they believe it has an exit strategy, compared to 44 per cent who think not.
Wearing masks has significant support, with 48 per cent saying everyone should be required to wear them in public if lockdown is loosened.
There is strong support for the PM to have US-presidential style medical check-ups in future, with the results made public
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