Majority of Britons Said They Would MISS Lockdown

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Protesters hold flags and banners during an anti-lockdown protest in Victoria Square on October 31, 2020 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The UK has seen a small but persistent protest movement decrying its measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, with many demonstrators alleging the virus …
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

More than half of Britons have said that they would miss lockdown — despite the country experiencing multiple shutdowns and other restrictions for almost a year, coming at a cost of their civil liberties.

In a YouGov daily question poll on Tuesday, a combined 55 per cent of respondents said they would miss lockdown, including 46 per cent who said they would “miss some aspects of lockdown” and almost one-in-ten (nine per cent) claiming they would miss “many” aspects of the strict measures.

Just barely over one-third — 39 per cent — of the 3,057 British adults surveyed said they would “not miss any aspects of lockdown” at all.

The findings follow other polls that point to Britons supporting — with large pluralities and at times in the majority — the government shutdown, including another recent poll that showed eight in ten (82 per cent of) British adults backing secondary school children (aged 11 to 18) being forced to wear masks at school if they could not socially distance. Others in the past year have shown Britons supporting mandatory coronavirus vaccines in employment contracts, harsher punishments for rule breakers, and mobile phone tracking of people subject to quarantine.

Earlier this week, the lockdown sceptic MP Sir Desmond Swayne admitted that he found it “unnerving” the “enthusiasm with which people have embraced the diminution of their civil liberties and their ordinary lives”, hoping that as they see the impact of lockdown on health, society, and education play out, then public opinion might change.

“Although, to be fair, we’re told these things by pollsters, but I find it quite difficult finding many of these people who have these views,” the Conservative MP for New Forest West said.

Other lockdown critics have questioned whether the mood painted by pollsters of Britons as passively supporting lockdown was not entirely a reflection of their real-world experiences, with Martin Daubney, journalist and former Brexit Party MEP, remarking of the poll showing overwhelming support for covering children’s faces as “bear[ing] no resemblance to reality”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday an extension of the government’s furlough package until September 2021 — despite the prime minister last week revealing the lifting of all social restrictions by June 21st.

Reclaim party leader and actor Laurence Fox remarked on the scheme, saying: “Furlough until September is like convincing someone to rob their own home. It’s a strategy devoid of hope. It’s bribery, not leadership.”

While political commentator and journalist Isabel Oakeshott said: “What’s the point of extending furlough till autumn when we could just open up the economy? We have a world leading vaccination programme. Soon all vulnerable groups will all have had jabs. Why continue to pay people to sit around making banana bread?”

In contrast, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday the end of the mask mandate in the U.S. state, and that any business is free to open.

“It is time for Texas to be open 100 per cent,” Governor Abbott said. “Everybody that wants a job should be able to get a job. Every business that wants to be open should be open.”

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