Two-thirds of Britons say government ‘has no clear COVID plan’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak leave 10 Downing Street London, ahead of a Cabinet meeting at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The majority of Britons believe prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak have no clear coronavirus strategy. (PA)

Almost two-thirds of Britons believe the government doesn’t have a clear plan to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, a poll has revealed.

A YouGov survey of nearly 3,000 people found that only one in five (20%) think prime minister Boris Johnson and his ministers have a clear plan to halt the spread of COVID-19.

However, 64% said the government does not have a coherent strategy for fighting the virus.

A further 16% said they don’t know if the government has a clear plan or not.

Most Britons believe the government has no clear coronavirus plan. (YouGov)
Most Britons believe the government has no clear coronavirus plan. (YouGov)

Among Labour voters, the lack of confidence in Johnson was more striking – 81% of the party’s supporters believe the government has no clear plan.

Meanwhile, only 37% of Conservatives think the government has a clear strategy for tackling coronavirus, while 45% of Tories thought it didn’t.

The poll was published just as Johnson was announcing a new three-tier lockdown system for England, which, if passed by MPs in the House of Commons on Tuesday, will come into force on Wednesday.

Watch: Boris Johnson announces three-tier lockdown

The new lockdown will see areas of England labelled as medium, high or very high risk.

The government has been accused of ignoring the advice of its scientists, after it emerged that its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) warned that 10pm pub curfews would only have a “marginal impact” on transmission rates.

Sage scientists also said NHS Test and Trace was only having a “marginal impact” and would “likely decline further” unless the system was expanded and people were given support to self-isolate.

It also emerged, through a Sage document dated 21 September, that scientists advised the government to introduce a small “circuit breaker” lockdown in England to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “The government now needs to urgently explain why it ignored its own scientists and what it will be doing to get control of the virus.”

The YouGov survey found that 40% of respondents said the new three-tier measures do not go far enough, while 15% said they went too far.

Almost one in five (19%) said the new measures “get the balance about right”.

More than half of those surveyed (57%) said the rules should be different from one area to another, depending on the coronavirus rate.

Three in 10 (31%) said the rules should be the same across the whole of each country in the UK.

Watch: What is long COVID?

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