Two-Thirds of Britons Back Being Under Coronavirus House Arrest Again

A pedestrian walks past a sign displaying a message to wear a face covering, outside Charing Cross station in central London on October 14, 2020, as the number of cases continue to rise during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic - Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday said a new UK-wide …
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

Nearly two-in-three Britons would support a second national lockdown for two weeks, which could include shutting pubs, banning households mixing, or even ‘stay at home’ orders like the measures put in place in March.

YouGov asked Britons on Wednesday whether they would “support or oppose a two-week nation-wide ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown at the start of the school half-term later this month”.

In total, 68 per cent said they were in favour of another two-week lockdown, comprising of 41 per cent who said they would “strongly support” it, and 27 per cent who would “somewhat support” it.

Just 11 and nine per cent “strongly” and “somewhat” respectively oppose the measure (12 per cent “didn’t know”).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly against another national lockdown, but is under pressure from not only the Opposition, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, but his own government scientists to consider a two- to three-week so-called “circuit-breaker” measures. Sources speaking to the media have also said that the prime minister may consider a lockdown if his new three-tier regionalised social distancing measures do not work.

Prospective lockdown measures could include banning the mixing of households and closing all hospitality venues across the country. The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) is set to come out with a report that claims that closing schools and “stay at home” orders, where Britons are once again allowed out only for exercise and grocery shopping, could reduce coronavirus deaths for the rest of the year.

The poll revealing Britons’ shocking willingness to allow the government to suspend their freedoms is broadly in line with previous surveys. When Mr Johnson imposed a 10 pm curfew on pubs last month, 63 per cent thought that the prime minister had not gone far enough. The ORB poll for The Telegraph also found that 83 per cent of respondents were frightened of a second wave “hitting the UK hard”. Another YouGov poll from the same week found nearly four in five (78 per cent) backed social distancing rules with 45 per cent saying they did not go far enough.

Another YouGov poll from last month said that nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) feared that people were not taking the pandemic seriously.

If Britons appear to be fearful of the Chinese virus, they were not always. Around two weeks before the March lockdown was imposed, a YouGov poll found most were not frightened of catching COVID-19. An official briefing document from over a week later revealed that the government was concerned that not enough Britons were feeling “personally threatened” by the virus, and that needed to change.

“A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened,” the March 22nd document read. “The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging,” it continued.

Last month, an anonymous Conservative MP had said that Britons had been made “fearful” of the pandemic, making them more likely to back the government’s “authoritarian” coronavirus laws.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.