Majority of Brits do not trust Government's return to work advice, suggests poll

28 July 2020, 09:06

The majority of Brits do not trust the Government's safety advice for reopening the economy
The majority of Brits do not trust the Government's safety advice for reopening the economy. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The majority of Brits do not trust the Government's safety advice for returning to work, school or leisure activities, a new poll has found.

Most people are sceptical about the safety measures in place for reopening the economy after the lockdown, according to a King's College London and Ipsos MORI survey.

The study also found that more people believe the coronavirus pandemic has been handled badly in the UK, with the Government receiving most of the blame.

More than half of those interviewed (52 per cent) do not trust the Government's advice on when it is safe to return to the office, to send their children back to school, or to return to leisure activities. In comparison, 45 per cent of those asked do trust the official advice.

The public is also more likely to think the Covid-19 crisis has been handled badly than well, by 42 per cent to 36 per cent.

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There is a party political split when it comes to opinions on the Government's role, with 2019 Labour voters three times more likely than Conservative voters to say it has been mishandled.

According to those who think the crisis has been handled badly, seven in 10 blame the Government and two-thirds believe Prime Minister Boris Johnson is responsible

However, 55 per cent of those surveyed said members of the public failing to follow the rules were to blame.

The survey was conducted on 2,237 people aged between 16 and 75. It was carried out online between 17 and 20 July.

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Professor Bobby Duffy, director of the Policy Institute at King's College London, said Boris Johnson and his Government "are the focus of blame."

He added: "People see the UK public as a key reason it's gone well - and a key reason it's gone badly, showing how varied an image we have of how different people have followed the guidelines, or not."

Kelly Beaver, managing director of public affairs at Ipsos MORI, said party loyalty appeared to influence people's opinion of the Government's performance.

She added: "It's very much back to politics as usual when it comes to how Britons feel Covid-19 has been handled, with those who voted Labour in 2019 far likelier to say that the Government or the Conservative Party are at fault than those who voted Conservative in 2019."

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