As the number of Covid-19 cases rise and restrictions tighten, talk of a second nationwide lockdown is beginning. The Prime Minister insists it won’t have to happen – but what do Peterborough Matters readers think?
The majority of people – over half – said that they felt that the public has not done enough to prevent a second nationwide lockdown.
A further 22.5% said that the government has not done enough to prevent a second nationwide lockdown, suggesting there is blame to be shared.
Nearly 12% of respondents said that they were not concerned about a second lockdown; if it is deemed necessary then it will be for the benefit of public health.
Just over 7% of people said that they were concerned about the lockdown, but nothing more could have been done to prevent it from occurring.
For almost 4% of people a second lockdown didn’t matter because they haven’t come out of the first one. Five people, 2.3% of the vote, said that they didn’t know.
Local lockdowns are becoming more common, with Manchester and Liverpool among the cities added to those being carefully monitored.
On September 9, Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to rule out a second lockdown, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson assuring the public that this would be avoided.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Hancock said: “Our goal is to avoid having to do anything more drastic by people following the rules.”
But he would not rule out a return to lockdown, continuing: “I wouldn’t make a vow like that. You wouldn’t expect me to – I am the Health Secretary in the middle of a pandemic where we are trying to keep the country safe.”
He did say, however, that he hoped lockdown could be avoided with the new measures to restrict more than six people gathering socially.
With voters in our poll saying that they believe the public didn’t do enough to prevent a second wave, it would appear that the new rules to stop people from meeting with those outside their own household bubbles are being targeted correctly.
Professor Neil Ferguson, the epidemiologist whose modelling led to the decision to impose the nationwide lockdown in March, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he was “encouraged” by the response to the rise in coronavirus cases. He said: “One of the mistakes made early on in this crisis was being cautious in responding to the epidemic and that led to the UK being later than we would have liked in locking down, and therefore we saw the death toll this country did see.
“And I am encouraged that now we are responding in a more timely manner – we have a lot more data available to track the epidemic.
“The measures just announced will take some weeks to have an effect, so we need to wait at this point and see how much it will flatten the curve. And then if that is not sufficient to bring the reproduction number below one, so the epidemic starts shrinking again, then yes, we may need to clamp down in other areas.”
It was announced today, September 11, that the R rate in the UK has risen above 1, the number where the virus is growing. In the East of England, the reproduction rate is thought to be between 0.9 and 1.2.
On social media, many of those commenting agreed with the Prime Minister and didn’t think there would be another nationwide lockdown. Some cited the economy as a reason for this, while others said that people’s mental health should be the priority.