The majority of people support extending lockdown for ‘as long as it takes’

A poll of readers of this title and others across the UK has revealed that 70% of people are in favour of extending the lockdown beyond May 7, if needed.

The Government has come under mounting pressure in recent days to announce its plans to ease the lockdown, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that he would not risk a second peak in the disease by relaxing restrictions too quickly.

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That position appears to be endorsed in our online poll, which canvassed the views of more than 3,000 readers from across the country.

Should lockdown be extended?

In answer to the question, ‘Would you support a further extension of the lockdown?’ (beyond the next review date of 7 May):

70% voted: “Yes, as long as it takes”

15% voted: “Yes, but only for a bit longer”

15% voted: “No, it's been long enough”

Other European nations, such as Italy, Spain and Austria, have begun to relax their lockdowns in response to the falling infection and death rates from coronavirus.

But the Government is unlikely to follow suit until its advisors are confident that as a nation we have met the five key tests set out last week.

Easing lockdown too early could cause a second peak

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While hospitals have sufficient capacity to provide critical care across the UK, more data is needed to be sure that there has been a “sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths”, and that the rate of infection has decreased to “manageable levels across the board”.

Additionally, the Government is still well short of its targets on both testing and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), and there is still widespread concern, as the PM confirmed, that easing the lockdown could lead to a second peak in the outbreak.