More than half (52%) of English adults say that they are satisfied with the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown that he set out today, according to a new snap poll from Savanta ComRes.
Just one in six (17%) say that they are dissatisfied with the roadmap, although approaching half (45%) say that it’s ‘cautious’, compared to just three in ten (31%) who say the plans are ‘about right’ and one in five (19%) who say it’s ‘reckless’.
On the specific plans, two in five (42%) say that schools reopening on March 8 is ‘too early’, a similar proportion (43%) to those who say it’s about right. Despite this, approaching half (46%) support all pupils returning to schools, rather than a phased return for younger pupils or those studying for exams. A third (33%) oppose the plans to reopen schools for all.
For some plans the public feel that they’ll come too late, specifically non-essential retail reopening after April 12 (32% too late vs 19% too early) and close-contact personal services such as hairdressers (30% too late vs 23% too early).
But for almost all of the specific plans, between two in five and half (42-52%) of the public say the government is getting the timing about right, except for foreign holidays possibly being able to resume on May 17, which the public are more likely to say could come too early (44% too early vs 36% about right).
Of all of the specific restrictions tested, reintroducing the rule of six outdoors is the one the public are most looking forward to (17%), followed by reopening pubs, bars and restaurants (13%) and close-contact personal services and the prospect of foreign holidays (both 11%).
And the roadmap is deemed by the public to be ‘fair’ to the various sectors that will open up over the coming months, with 43% saying the roadmap is fair to the UK travel and tourism sector (vs 19% who say it’s unfair), and two in five saying it’s fair to pubs, bars and restaurants (40% fair vs 24% unfair) and non-essential retail (39% fair vs 23% unfair).
Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes said, “While more than half are satisfied with the roadmap unveiled by the Prime Minister, there is a sense among the public that this is cautious and possibly could have been bolder.
“However, public opinion throughout the pandemic has been supportive of government moves with a sense that it could be more restrictive in liberties, so any semblance of a change of heart by the public, that lockdowns and restrictions could and should be lifted sooner, will be interesting to monitor over the coming weeks, particularly if the roadmap is altered or pushed back.
“The major frustrations, if they can even be called that, are from the public over non-essential retail and close-contact personal services, with a sense that they should open sooner whereas, interestingly, school reopening could be pushed back. While it’s understandable that the public are pining for a haircut – I certainly am – much of the rest of the roadmap is seen positively and if the government delivers on this, it could make up for the negative public perceptions it suffered through much of late 2020.”