Sunday 17 May 2020 3:55 pm

Public trust in UK government's coronavirus response continues to fall

The public’s trust in the UK government’s coronavirus strategy is in freefall, according to the latest polling.

An Opinium/Obsever poll out today shows the government now has a net -3 rating for how it has handled the coronavirus, after having a +60 rating in mid-March.

Read more: Michael Gove says 17,000 recruited to administer coronavirus tracing app

A YouGov/Sky News poll out today also showed a -2 net rating for the government’s coronavirus response, after a +52 rating in late March.

The new figures are the first time the government’s approval rating has hit negative territory during the crisis.

The public’s trust in the government has been consistently dropping in the polls in the past month, as the UK’s death toll continues to rise amid chronic personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages.

The UK now has an official Covid-19 death toll of 34,466 people – the highest in Europe.

The scale of the coronavirus outbreak in care homes has also dented the public’s confidence in the government, after deaths continue to rise in these settings.

Last week, the government was also criticised by some for what was thought as unclear guidance when the Covid-19 lockdown was eased.

The Opinium poll seemed to confirm this as it showed that 56 per cent of people were unsure who they could now meet outside their household.

The government allowed people in England to meet one friend outside their household at a time in a public space last week.

Read more: All care homes residents and staff to be tested for coronavirus by early June, health secretary says

The YouGov poll shows a large divide in opinion among different age groups.

There is a net positive rating for the government in over-50s and a net negative rating among under-50s.