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Nearly half of Britons think Boris Johnson's new COVID-19 rules 'do not go far enough'

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read
A man and woman wearing face masks walk along Regent Street in London, England, on September 22, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this afternoon announced a raft of new coronavirus restrictions to apply across England, possibly to last the next six months, including requiring pubs and restaurants to close at 10pm and for retail staff to all wear face masks. A return to home working where possible is also being encouraged. The new measures come amid fears of a 'second wave' of covid-19 deaths prompted by rising numbers of people testing positive in recent weeks. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
New COVID-19 restrictions will start this week. (Getty)

Nearly half of Britons think Boris Johnson should have gone further with new COVID-19 restrictions, according to a YouGov poll.

In total, 45% of people said the new rules “do not go far enough”, in a study released on Tuesday following the prime minister’s announcement. Meanwhile, 32% said the new rules were about right, while 13% thought they went too far.

Johnson told people in England to work from home where possible and ordered restaurants and bars to close at 10pm to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of coronavirus.

Masks will be required in more settings, there will be tougher enforcement of rules, and the military could be brought in to help free up the police, Johnson told parliament following emergency meetings with ministers and leaders of the devolved governments.

In total 45% of people said the lockdown rules “do not go far enough” (Picture: YouGov)
In total, 45% of people said the lockdown rules 'do not go far enough'. (YouGov)

Johnson stopped short of imposing another full lockdown, as he did in March, but warned that further measures could come if the disease is not suppressed.

The PM added: “We reserve the right to deploy greater firepower, with significantly greater restrictions.”

Businesses breaking COVID-19 laws face penalties of up to £10,000 or even closure, while individuals may be fined £200 for not wearing a mask when required.

Read more: New rules won’t stop pandemic spreading by Christmas, top scientists warn

Johnson said it was frustrating for the law-abiding majority to see a few people “brazenly defying the rules”.

The poll, which surveyed 3,436 British adults, also found that 78% of people supported the new measures and 53% would blame themselves if the UK was overwhelmed by a second wave of cases.

The UK already has the highest official COVID-19 death toll in Europe at 41,825, and is borrowing record amounts to pump emergency money through the damaged economy.

It was unclear if the new measures will be enough to curb a second wave of the virus, which government scientists have warned could reach 50,000 new cases per day by mid-October.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has urged the government not to end the furlough scheme in October, and accused it of losing control of the coronavirus crisis.

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