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New poll finds spike in Brits who think government acted ‘too late’ on coronavirus

New poll finds spike in Brits who think government acted ‘too late’ on coronavirus

Two-thirds of those asked now believe measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 were imposed “too late”.

2 min read

There has been a sharp rise in the proportion of Britons who think the Government moved too slowly to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll has found.

The latest study by polling firm Ipsos MORI reveals that two-thirds (66%) of those asked now believe measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 were imposed “too late” - up from 57% two weeks ago.

Just a quarter (26%) believe the Government acted to impose a lockdown and close non-essential shops “at the right time”, the findings show, with 2% saying ministers moved “too soon”.

The findings come as the Cabinet meets to discuss next steps in the UK’s response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, with Boris Johnson set to take his first Downing Street press conference since returning to work after being diagnosed with the illness.

However, the poll also finds that the proportion of Brits who say they are “very concerned” for the country has fallen since the last study, down from 63% to 49%. 

And less than a third (28%) now say they are personally concerned about the impact of the virus on themselves, down from 36% at the last count.

There is also increasing confidence in the ability of the country’s health service to manage the outbreak, the study reveals, with 82% describing themselves as either ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ confident that the NHS can cope.

That comes amid a slowdown in the number of daily admissions for Covid-19, and stands in contrast to mid-March when just 62% of those polled said they were confident the health service could manage the crisis.

Launching the latest findings, Keiran Pedley, research director at Ipsos MORI, said: “Although the public are still showing high levels of concern about the virus, these trends suggest the Government faces two challenges.

“Firstly, how do you ensure people stay in lockdown as they becomes less concerned about the risk the virus poses to themselves personally.  

“Secondly, if the public reaches a consensus that the Government acted too slowly in dealing with the  virus in the first place, it may have difficult questions to answer on that in the future.”

Ipsos MORI interviewed 1,066 British adults between April 24-27 for its online sruvey, with the results weighted to reflect the UK population.


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