People in England remain opposed to a total ban on indoor socialising

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
December 14, 2021, 2:39 PM GMT+0

They would support lighter restrictions such as social distancing however

In his address to the nation on Sunday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Britons to get a booster jab in the effort to curb the Omicron variant of COVID-19 but stopped short of implementing lockdown-esque restrictions. However, when pressed on Monday morning, Johnson did not rule out further restrictions over the Christmas period.

YouGov’s latest survey of people in England finds little change in opinion on various restrictions in light of rising Omicron cases. Many are in favour of less-stringent measures such as social distancing but remain opposed to most venue closures and a full lockdown.

Two thirds (66%) of adults in England would back the re-introduction of social distancing in hospitality venues (compared to 69% who supported such a measure at the start of December). A further 60% would be in favour of the general “2-metre” social distancing rule returning – unchanged since the beginning of the month.

However, half (50%) would back closing nightclubs while 40% who would oppose doing so –this represents a slight shift in opinion since the beginning of December when 55% supported and 34% were against.

As Christmas approaches, the proportion (49%) who would favour limiting indoor gatherings to six people from three households is unchanged from the beginning of December, while 43% would oppose the measure.

Also unchanged from the start of the month is sentiment towards a total ban on mixing households indoors – 29% would back such a move while 61% would be against it. However, people are more firmly against limits on outdoor gatherings (58% against versus 33% in favour).

People are split over large events. Some 44% support shutting down large sporting and entertainment venues, while 47% are opposed to doing so.

A further 66% would be against a full lockdown, with people only allowed to leave home for essential shopping, exercise and work. Currently, some 26% would be in favour of a return to lockdown

Finally, 67% would oppose the closure of pubs and restaurants, with only 23% backing the shutting down of these parts of the hospitality industry again.

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