Will coronaphobia derail the recovery? Half of Britons say they WON’T visit any non-essential shops this month despite Boris Johnson’s pleas – and 57% want two-metre limit to stay in pubs if they reopen next month
- EXCLUSIVE: Poll finds half of Britons not planning to use non-essential shops
- Strong support for the two-metre rule being enforced in pubs if they reopen
- Public attitudes headache for Boris Johnson as he fights to get economy running
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
Coronavirus fears are holding Britons back from heeding Boris Johnson’s pleas to get back to shops and save the economy, a poll suggests today.
Research for MailOnline found eight in 10 people have yet to visit a non-essential shop since they were allowed to open on Monday.
And two-thirds of them said they had no intention of doing so this month, regardless of the appeals from the PM and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help prop up businesses.
Meanwhile, the Redfield & Wilton Strategies survey identified strong support for the two-metre rule staying in force – despite warnings from the hospitality industry that millions of jobs could go unless the restrictions are eased.
Some 57 per cent said the social distancing limit should be enforced in pubs if they reopen as scheduled on July 4, compared to 29 per cent who want it loosened.
Research for MailOnline by Redfield & Wilton Strategies found eight in 10 people have yet to visit a non-essential shop since they were allowed to open on Monday
Those who had visited a shop last week were most likely to report going to a clothing or shoe shop – 48 per cent. Some 32 per cent said they had been to an electronics store, 28 per cent a department store, adn 26 per cent a book or gift shop
Despite ministers making desperate efforts to create ‘air bridges’ with low infection countries and allow staycations, 59 per cent of Britons have no intention of going on holiday this year.
Among those who have ruled out going abroad for a break, the most common reason is fear of contracting coronavirus on the plane – 26 per cent.
Another 14 per cent say they are worried about catching the disease in the destination country.
A fifth cited the hassle of having to fulfill the government’s edict to quarantine for 14 days when they return, and 10 per cent said cost was the main issue.
For the 14 per cent who were booking a holiday abroad, Spain was the most popular destination (31 per cent) followed by Ireland (19 per cent) and Greece (17 per cent).
Half of people in the poll of 2,000 people, carried out yesterday and weighted to represent the population, said they were spending less than before lockdown, with 37 per cent saying that was due to concerns about their financial position.
Those who had visited a shop last week were most likely to report going to a clothing or shoe shop – 48 per cent. Some 32 per cent said they had been to an electronics store, 28 per cent a department store, adn 26 per cent a book or gift shop.
The findings emerged as the UK’s coronavirus threat level was dramatically reduced from four to three – raising speculation that the government is about to shift on the two-metre rule.
After weeks in which the alert was maintained despite Mr Johnson starting to ease lockdown, the Joint Biosecurity Centre has concluded that transmission is no longer ‘high or rising exponentially’.
The move was announced jointly by the chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – and it was hailed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock as a ‘big moment’ that showed the ‘government’s plan is working’.
But it will heap pressure on the PM to relax the draconian social distancing curbs strangling the economy. Tories have been demanding the two-metre rule is loosened immediately, warning that schools and the hospitality sector cannot function while it remains.
The Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended today that the Covid-19 alert level be reduced
Public sector debt was fractionally below two trillion pounds at the end of last month – equivalent to 100.9 per cent of GDP
Figures out today showed UK debt is now bigger than the whole economy for the first time in 57 years, as GDP plunges and millions of people face unemployment.
The Bank of England has warned the country faces the worst recession in 300 years.
Yesterday its quantitative easing programme – effectively printing money – was expanded by £100billion to £745billion.
Interest rates are at an historic low of just 0.1 per cent in a bid to kickstart activity.
There was a small glimmer of light as the Bank’s monetary policy committee suggested the slump in activity this quarter might be slightly smaller than previously estimated – 20 per cent rather than 27 per cent.
Mr Sunak is putting together a stimulus package in a bid to get the country back up and running, with VAT cuts thought to be under consideration.
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