An exclusive poll for MailOnline has revealed the scale of public anger at the government’s approach to the crisis with ministers now under pressure to go further to combat the spread of the deadly disease.
The survey of 1,500 people, conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies yesterday, showed 55 per cent believe the decision to implement the nationwide lockdown should have been taken earlier.
Just 34 per cent believe the decision was taken ‘at about the right time’.
Regardless of the timing issue, many people want the government to now go further with 38 per cent of the belief that the current measures have ‘fallen short’.
Some 81 per cent of respondents said they believe all commercial flights into and out of the UK should be stopped for the duration of the lockdown.
The government is adamant such a move is not necessary because there is ‘no evidence’ that closing borders or implementing a travel ban ‘would have any effect on the spread of infection’ given it is already prevalent in the UK.
A majority of Briton believe Boris Johnson’s decision to lockdown the UK was taken ‘too late’
An overwhelming majority of people believe the government should introduce a ban on all commercial flights into and out of the UK during the lockdown
Meanwhile, people are receptive to the idea of honouring NHS staff, with 41 per cent backing plans to award frontline workers a special coronavirus medal.
Almost nine in ten people believe the government should recognise in some way the efforts of NHS workers with 46 per cent backing a permanent pay rise.
The survey found there is overwhelming backing for the nationwide lockdown with almost nine in 10 people supporting the move.
The poll suggests the nation is braced for long term disruption with almost two thirds of adults – 58 per cent – believing the lockdown will still be in place at the end of May.
However, the numbers suggest some people are not anticipating lockdown being imposed much beyond that with just 13 per cent saying it could still be in place by the middle of June and 15 per cent beyond the end of June.
Downing Street said lockdown will be reviewed after three weeks but the direction of travel suggests measures could be kept in place for longer than that.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly said the situation in the UK will get worse before it gets better and a majority of people agreed with that assessment.
Just shy of two thirds of the nation said they expected the situation to deteriorate before it improves with 48 per cent believing a majority of the UK population will inevitably contract coronavirus.
Almost one fifth of the nation believes they have already had the disease and seven per cent ‘think I have the coronavirus now’.
Just over half of people believe coronavirus will have a ‘negative impact’ on their personal finances.
The nation is seemingly divided on the police approach to enforcing the lockdown amid criticism of some forces being heavy-handed.
The nation is split on how long they believe the lockdown will last but 58 per cent think restrictions will still be in place at the end of May
The nation is also split on Mr Johnson’s response to the crisis with just over 50 per cent backing the PM as ‘adequate’ but more than 30 per cent saying he had fallen short
Seven per cent of the nation believes they currently have coronavirus
Some 40 per cent believe the police measures have been ‘about right’ but 33 per cent say they have ‘not been enough’.
Just 18 per cent said the police had been ‘excessive’ in their use of the powers to break up gatherings and stop people making non-essential journeys.
The current crisis also appears to have harmed many people’s view of the Chinese government.
Almost two thirds of respondents said they believe ‘the Chinese government is dishonestly reporting the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in China’ where coronavirus originated.