‘Not safe enough’: Norfolk survey reveals people are against easing lockdown

Quiet streets in Cromer during the Coronavirus Lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Quiet streets in Cromer during the Coronavirus Lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Hundreds of people in Norfolk have said they are against an easing of lockdown restrictions for schools, pubs and restaurants, a survey carried out by the EDP has found.

Prime minister Boris Johnson faces a tough decision. Would you be in his shoes? Picture: Pippa Fowle

Prime minister Boris Johnson faces a tough decision. Would you be in his shoes? Picture: Pippa Fowles/Crown Copyright/10 Downing Street/PA Media - Credit: PA

The results of the poll echo those of a national survey which asked 2,000 adults between Wednesday and Friday questions on a series of issues including the levels they have followed restrictions and their thoughts on the right time to reopen services.

In Norfolk, of the 1053 people who took part in the EDP survey, just 26pc said they believed it was the right time to reconsider opening schools.

More than 470 people - 43pc - thought it was the right time to think about measures to allow people to see friends and family, while 39pc thought more shops should be allowed to reopen and 32pc thought offices should reopen.

While just 12pc of people who took part in the survey thought it was time to reopen pubs or allow large sporting events to resume.

Do you support easing of lockdown rules? Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Do you support easing of lockdown rules? Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

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The survey results come as prime minister Boris Johnson said the country had passed the peak of Covid-19 infections and is expected to lay out a “road map” for easing measures in the near future.

Mr Johnson said he would not want to risk a second peak in the disease by relaxing restrictions too quickly, with the Government saying five tests would have to be met.

READ MORE: Number of daily coronavirus tests carried out in UK falls below target

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These include a falling death rate, a lower rate of infection, and satisfaction that supplies of testing and personal protective equipment are able to meet future demand.

On social media, when asked if they supported an easing of lockdown, one reader said: “Not safe enough yet, so definitely not time, let the NHS staff time to get back on top of things, god bless them, we don’t want that 2nd wave, it would be disastrous.”

While another added: “I hate the disruption to both my day to day life as well as the impact on my organisation.

“However none of that matters, its frustrating yes. But now is not the time to go soft and give in.

“Lockdown must continue otherwise all we have done so far will be for nothing.”

READ MORE: Do you support easing of lockdown rulesOn Sunday, Michael Gove said some social distancing measures will remain in place until a coronavirus vaccine has been developed but ministers will seek to restore people’s lives to “as close to normal as possible”.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster warned that people would have to live with “some degree of constraint” until they can be immunised against the deadly disease - suggesting Britons would have to accept a “new normal”.

A total of 28,446 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Saturday.

Mr Gove revealed that the number of daily coronavirus tests in the last 24 hours had fallen to 76,496 - below the Government’s 100,000 daily testing target - which was blamed on lower uptake over the weekend.

The Cabinet minister told the daily Downing Street press conference: “Ultimately, unless and until we have a vaccine then I suspect that we are going to have to live with some degree of constraint because of the nature of the virus.

“But we obviously want to, wherever possible, and consistent with the measures on public health, restore people’s lives to as close to normal as possible.”

READ MORE: No blanket ban on elderly people leaving home after lockdownHe said the Government will pursue a “phased approach” to removing lockdown restrictions rather than a sudden return to “the old normal”.

NHS England’s national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said it was “really difficult” to know how the virus would play out in the months and years ahead.

He said there was “hope” that a solution - either a vaccine or drugs - would be found sooner than might have been hoped 10 or 20 years ago, though it is “impossible to say when that will be”.

“But it’s certainly true to say that we will need to adapt to a new normal until we get to that point.”

Human trials of a vaccine developed by Oxford University began last month, with scientists aiming to have a million doses ready by September if efficacy tests go well.

Mr Gove said Boris Johnson would set out on Thursday how the country can get back to work, get the economy moving, return children to school and travel to work more safely.

“We’re consulting with employers and unions, professionals and public health experts, to establish how we can ensure that we have the safest possible working environments, and the Prime Minister will be saying more later this week,” he explained.

Earlier on Sunday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned life would not return to “business as usual” when the Prime Minister sets out his exit strategy.

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