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UK Lockdown: What is the Public Opinion?

Picture by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Picture by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

With the second lockdown closely coming to an end on 2nd December, the questions that arise are whether restrictions will be eased in December and whether the situation has been ameliorated by limiting measures.  

Scientists believe that socialising during the Christmas period will pose “substantial risks”, particularly for older people who are more vulnerable to the virus and would be in contact with young generations “with high incidence of infection”. Additionally, with respiratory infections peaking in January, having a near-normal Christmas would further contribute to the problem. 

The public opinion has so far been very supportive of lockdown actions, and, according to NewsScientist.com,  49% are against the idea of lifting restrictions on Christmas Day. On the other hand, 36% of the public would prefer a pause on limitations during the festivities. This shows how firmly pro-healthcare the public is and explain the continuous lockdown support.

Before the winter lockdown measures were implemented in all of the UK. In a survey done by YouPoll, 67% of the people participating were in favour of two-week full restrictions, while only 26% opposed it. Compared to the lockdown in March, which had 93% of participants responding in favour of support, public endorsement has decreased but is definitely still present. 

There is a more modest, but still majority, encouragement for banning households from mixing indoors and a full closure of pubs and restaurants. Hence, it is evident that the majority of the people consider the protection and prevention of healthcare before the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Particularly during recent months, Covid-19 negationists have gathered together with conspiracy theorists and ‘anti-vaxxers’ to protest against the government restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus. They have called for an end to lockdown restrictions and mandatory face coverings. This group denies the reality and severity of the pandemic and accuses the government of attempting to reduce civil rights and liberties. Therefore, they consider lockdown is unjustifiable and are vocally against vaccines, since they believe that could cause more damage than good. 

As a result of the surge in negationist protests, the World Health Organisation has increased its psychological advice on how to continue following government restrictions. 

The United Kingdom, like most European countries, is placed in a limbo between those supporting lockdown measures and following guidelines with the aim of beating the pandemic, and conspiracy theorists who oppose to restrictive government policies and identify them as unnecessary and a way to limit people’s liberties and control them.  

 

References:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/coronavirus-europe-second-wave-new-cases-infections-france-italy-spain-b938076.html 

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-covid-19-news-socialising-at-christmas-poses-substantial-risks/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/29/coronavirus-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists-anti-vaxxers-protest-london 

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/10/30/public-support-two-week-lockdown-persists 

 

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