icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Economist poll claims 40% of Britons want mask mandate FOREVER, regardless of Covid-19

Economist poll claims 40% of Britons want mask mandate FOREVER, regardless of Covid-19
As Boris Johnson’s government plans to lift all Covid-19 restrictions on July 19, some groups are campaigning against the move, while a new poll shows that a significant number of Britons want some measures to stay permanently.

A poll by the market research firm Ipsos MORI, published by the Economist on Thursday, reveals that overwhelming majorities of Britons support most of the current restrictions past the July 19 deadline and even “until Covid-19 is under control globally.”

Moreover, a significant minority said they would like some measures to remain in place “permanently, regardless of the risk” from the coronavirus.

Around a third of respondents favoured permanent social distancing in pubs and theatres, 10-day quarantines for those returning from abroad and contract-tracing check-ins at restaurants. A full 40% were in favour of indefinite face mask mandates in shops and on public transport, and even more approved of foreign travel only with proof of vaccination.

The popularity of the 10pm curfew remained under 30% in all cases, but 19% still supported extending it permanently.

The results prompted the Economist’s Matthew Holehouse to wonder if Britons were really so different in character than the “half of Europe” who lived under “repression but also some consent” 50 years ago.

While one might quibble about the poll’s results and methodology, there is no denying the existence of pushback against Johnson’s bid to reopen England come July 19. On Monday, the Blood Cancer UK charity tweeted that for many of their members this would be “the day that it feels like freedoms are being taken away from them,” because they would no longer feel safe among the unmasked. 

On Tuesday, the Guardian ran a story declaring the ‘day of freedom’ will instead be a “day of fear” for many. One 34-year-old disabled woman said she felt “hopeless” because others would not wear masks. A 39-year-old office worker said masks should be worn for “just three more months” so all the adults could get vaccinated and everyone could get “be as safe as it’s possible to be” from the virus, including “Long Covid” and new variants.

Also on rt.com Over 100 medics and scientists pen warning letter on UK govt’s ‘premature’ unlocking of England on July 19

Johnson’s reopening is “dangerous and premature” as well as “unethical and illogical,” argued over 100 scientists and doctors in a ‘Memorandum Against Mass Infection’, published on Wednesday in the correspondence section of The Lancet medical journal.

“Many scientists are sincerely concerned that with sub-optimal double-vaccination numbers and rapidly rising transmission rates, we are at a very dangerous moment in the pandemic,” said the letter.

However, a number of journalists have suggested that at least some of the anti-reopening campaign might be inauthentic. Several Twitter accounts have posted an identical message, claiming to “speak for all UK citizens” in demanding the continuation of the mask mandate beyond July 19.

The UK hit 5 million total Covid-19 cases on Thursday, putting it in seventh place globally after the US, India, Brazil, Russia, France and Turkey. There was also a single-day increase of 32,551 new infections and 35 fatalities.

Also on rt.com UK tops 5 million total Covid cases, as Delta variant continues to spread across country

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.

Podcasts