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The Public’s View on the Government-Imposed Lockdown and how it should be Relaxed

22nd April 2020

YouGov has just published the results of a survey conducted to assess the public’s view on the current lockdown and how and when the different measures should be relaxed or lifted.

Whilst a minority of the population are still flouting the Government-imposed rules, the survey results paint a picture of a population that is broadly in favour of the lockdown restrictions and the disruption they are causing –  even to the extent of wishing them to be extended.

For example, when asked about whether the Government should start loosening restrictions in c. 3 weeks as has been widely mooted, only 30% agreed it would be the right time,  whilst 26% felt that it would be the wrong time (i.e. it would be too early).  44% said they don’t know.

Regarding the criteria that the Government should use to determine whether or not the lockdown should be relaxed, the public again took a cautious view. 32% felt there has to be a ‘substantial’ fall in daily deaths beforehand, whilst 37% wished the Government to take a harder line and wait until no new cases are being reported.

The public was also clear about what the Government’s priorities should be, once it begins to lift the lockdown.

The reopening of schools and getting people back to work were regarded as the top priorities, whilst allowing people to travel to the UK from other countries and the holding of large events (such as sports or music festivals) were regarded as the lowest.

Finally, YouGov’s survey addressed a commonly-held view in the press that certain groups (e.g. those under 40) should have restrictions relaxed ahead of others. 

The survey revealed that 42% felt this would be wrong, with only 36% thinking this would be the right thing to do. 

On the other hand, 48% agreed that it would be right to both right and fair to loosen lockdown restrictions for NHS workers ahead of the general population.

Overall, YouGov’s survey paints a picture of a nervous public, that wishes to err on the side of caution at this present time.



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