Majority of Brits support two-week circuit breaker lockdown, poll suggests

14 October 2020, 18:02

The majority of the country backed a circuit breaker, according to the YouGov poll
The majority of the country backed a circuit breaker, according to the YouGov poll. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The majority of the British public support a two-week circuit breaker lockdown over the October half-term, according to a new poll.

More than 3,390 people were asked by YouGov on Wednesday whether they would be for or against a fortnight-long shutdown later this month.

Nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) said they would back the introduction of stricter measures, whereas only two in 10 said they would oppose them, with 12 per cent saying they did not know.

Introducing a circuit breaker also received majority support from voters for the three main political parties in England.

65 per cent of Conservatives voters backed the measure, while three-quarters of Labour (76 per cent) and Liberal Democrat (75 per cent) voters supported it.

Read more: Wales to ban travel from UK Covid-19 hotspots

Read more: Northern Ireland to introduce 'circuit breaker' lockdown

A circuit breaker received the backing from across the political spectrum
A circuit breaker received the backing from across the political spectrum. Picture: YouGov

The results will pile more pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce a short, sharp shutdown to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases across the UK.

On Tuesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for a circuit breaker over the October half-term, echoing a recommendation from the government's scientific advisers (Sage) who suggested such a measure weeks ago - something that the prime minister chose to ignore.

The poll also found that a two-week October shutdown had support across the country, with London, the South of England, the Midlands and Wales, the North and Scotland all favouring the proposal.

It also revealed that all age groups back a circuit break. More than five in 10 of people aged between 18 and 24 supported it, while three-quarters of those aged 65 and over backed it.

Read more: PM says national circuit breaker would be a 'disaster' for UK

Read more: UK reports another 19,724 coronavirus cases and 137 deaths

The findings come after Mr Johnson said in the Commons on Wednesday that a nationwide circuit breaker would be a "disaster" for the country, although he did not go so far as to rule it out.

Earlier in the day, First Minister Arlene Foster announced a four-week circuit breaker for Northern Ireland, meaning pubs and restaurants will be forced to shut and schools will close for two weeks (one of which will be over the half-term).

Later on Wednesday, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that people from parts of the UK that have high rates of Covid-19 - Tier 2 and Tier 3 regions will be prevented from travelling to Wales.

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