Two thirds of Britons think coronavirus lockdown was started TOO LATE

Two thirds of Britons now think the Government acted TOO LATE in bringing in the lockdown to tackle coronavirus pandemic that has left more than 26,500 dead – but the percentage of those who feel personally at risk FALLS

  • 66% now feel that March 23 lockdown should have been imposed sooner 
  • Figure up from 57% in the last fortnight, according to the poll by Ipsos MORI
  • But there was also a 9% fall in those who felt personally at risk from pandemic 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The number of people who think the Government took too long to put Britain in lockdown to beat coronavirus has surged, a shock new poll reveals today.

Two thirds (66 per cent ) now feel that the lockdown introduced on March 23 should have been imposed sooner, despite the economic collapse it has caused.

That figure is up from 57 per cent in the last fortnight, according to the poll by Ipsos MORI, which came as UK deaths from the pandemic reached 26,570. 

However, the same poll found a decline in the percentage of people who felt their safety was personally at risk, from from 78 per cent at the end of March to to 69 per cent now. 

Boris Johnson pictured chairing Cabinet in No10 today for the first time since he recovered from coronavirus

Keiran Pedley, research director at Ipsos MORI, says: ‘Although the public are still showing high levels of concern about the virus, these trends suggest the Government faces two challenges.

‘Firstly, how do you ensure people stay in lockdown as they becomes less concerned about the risk the virus poses to themselves personally?

‘Secondly, if the public reaches a consensus that the Government acted too slowly in dealing with the virus in the first place, it may have difficult questions to answer on that in the future.’ 

The poll came as Boris Johnson urged Britons to ‘keep going’ with lockdown tonight as he prepares to signal curbs must stay until June at his first Downing Street briefing since falling ill.

Having chaired Cabinet this morning, the Prime Minister said on Twitter that he ‘understands the impatience’ of people to end the draconian restrictions crippling the economy.

But dashing hopes of an imminent loosening, he made clear that a new flare-up of the deadly disease would be worse. ‘I must ask you to keep going in the way that you have kept going so far, so we can protect our NHS and save lives,’ he said.

The reiteration of the tough lockdown message Mr Johnson delivered on the steps of Downing Street earlier this week comes as he puts the ‘R’ number – the reproduction rate of the virus – at the heart of the battle. He will insist nothing can be done that lets it rise above one, which would mean the outbreak was growing again.


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