Most Britons don't think lockdown will end on 2 December despite government insisting it will

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
PLEASE NOTE: LONG EXPOSURE EFFECT WAS USED A stay home, essential travel only sign on the M1 Motorway near J25, Long Eaton, Derbyshire. (Photo by Scott Wilson/PA Images via Getty Images)
A lockdown sign on the M1 motorway near J25, Long Eaton, Derbyshire. (Getty)

A majority of Brits do not think the national lockdown in England will end on 2 December, a survey has suggested.

Despite the government insisting the second lockdown will definitely end at the start of December, over half (55%) of people do not believe them, according to the YouGov survey.

Less than a quarter (22%) believe the restrictions will end on 2 December, while a similar amount (23%) of the 6,729 people questioned said they did not know.

Downing Street insistence on lockdown ending came just one day after health secretary Matt Hancock appeared to suggest it could carry on longer.

On Monday, Hancock hinted the lockdown may be prolonged because “it is too early for us to know what the number of cases will be as we come to the end of the current lockdown”.

He said: “At the moment, most of the tests we’re getting back, and most of the positive cases, are from around the time the lockdown came in, so we are yet to see in the data – and it’s too early to expect to see in the data – the impact of the second lockdown.

Watch: 8 exceptions to England's second national lockdown

“But we absolutely hope to be able to replace the national lockdown with a tiered system similar to what we had before.”

But a spokesman for Boris Johnson said yesterday: “The current restrictions will lapse in law on 2 December and it’s the prime minister’s intention to go back to a regionalised approach.”

While the tiered approach is set to return when the national lockdown ends, the government is reportedly deciding whether to relax the regulations for a few days over Christmas so that families can spend the festive period together.

According to The Times, up to three household bubbles could mix temporarily from Christmas Eve.

The Sun also reported that the Sage scientific advisory panel has been modelling the impact of meetings between groups bigger than six.

With Christmas Eve on a Thursday and a Bank Holiday on the following Monday, 28 December, ministers are looking at that five-day period to allow indoor gatherings.

However, business secretary Alok Sharma said this morning it is too early to say whether families will be allowed to gather over Christmas.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/11/17: An electronic poster displaying the NHS Coronavirus Test sign on Charing Cross Road. Most shops, restaurants and businesses have closed as the second month-long nationwide Covid 19 lockdown takes over in England. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
An electronic poster displaying the NHS coronavirus test sign on Charing Cross Road in London. (Getty)

He told BBC Breakfast: “I want to have my mum and dad around, I want to have members of my family around that Christmas table.

“I just think it’s too early to be reaching any conclusions on that. What none of us knows right now is what the infection rate is going to be in different parts of the country.”

The Christmas reports came as medics warned that the tiered system that was in place before the national lockdown was inadequate in tackling the virus.

Read more: Restrictions could be eased to make 'family Christmas' possible, government adviser says

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 11: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prime Minister Boris Johnson (seen wearing a face mask) attends a service to mark the centenary of the burial of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2020 in London, England. The service is to commemorate the funeral of an unknown British serviceman, the Unknown Warrior, whose body was brought from Northern France and buried at the west end of the nave in Westminster Abbey on 11th November 1920 to represent all those who lost their lives in the First World War but whose place of death was not known, or whose bodies remained unidentified. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Pool)
Boris Johnson has signalled that he wants to allow families to celebrate Christmas together. (Getty)

The British Medical Association has called for a beefed-up tier system when England’s lockdown ends.

It said the previous system was “inconsistent” and did not contain the spread of the virus.

Official figures showed a further 598 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, bringing the UK total to 52,745.

Watch: Tougher tier restrictions may come in after second lockdown

Coronavirus: what happened today

Click here to sign up to the latest news and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter