Wednesday 24 June 2020 11:51 am

Brits back Boris Johnson’s lockdown lifting

Almost two thirds of British people back the government’s plans to reopen pubs, restaurants, museums and hairdressers in England on 4 July, a new poll has found.

A snap poll by Yougov yesterday found that 64 per cent of British people support Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to reopen cinemas, galleries and pubs next month, while 73 per cent support being able to be indoors with another household.

A poll of 2,264 British adults found that 47 per cent somewhat supported easing the two-metre rule, while 24 per cent strongly supported the new measures. 

Meanwhile, 19 per cent of Brits somewhat opposed the new one metre-plus guidelines, and 10 per cent strongly disagreed with them.

Scientists have voiced concern that Britain’s lockdown is being lifted too quickly, but Yougov’s polling shows that the public agrees that the government is proceeding at the right pace.

Almost half of respondents said the lockdown changes were about right, compared to 37 per cent who said they had gone too far, and seven per cent that said the new measures did not go far enough.

Johnson yesterday announced the reopening of a slew of industries that have been shuttered for more than three months, but left many sectors in the dark. Nightclubs, casinos, bowling alleys, spas, beauty salons, swimming pools and cricket pitches will not reopen on 4 July, the Prime Minister said yesterday.  

Support for the PM’s announcement seemed to be split across party lines, according to the Yougov poll. Almost 60 per cent of Conservative voters backed the new measures, compared to just 40 per cent of Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters, although the measures are backed by most people across all voting groups.

Almost two thirds of Labour voters back the new policy to reopen venues, and 66 per cent support the new households policy.

But nearly half of Labour and Lib Dem voters thought the new measures went too far, compared to just a quarter of Conservative supporters. 

Johnson yesterday said that a dramatic fall in the rate of infection means “we can now safely ease the lockdown in England”.

“Today we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end and life is beginning to return to our streets and our shops.”

However, he warned that the government will not hesitate to put the apply the brakes if the the number of infections start to rise.

“The virus has no interest in these debates,” he said. “We will not hesitate… to reintroduce restrictions even at national level if required.”

It comes as 171 further coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in the UK yesterday, up from just 15 the day before.

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