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The focus group shows that voters are desperate for measures to lock down coronaviruses


Last night there was dramatic evidence of a growing revolt against coronavirus lockdowns.

The public believes the rules are not going to work, they will break the law if necessary, to see loved ones and believe that it is time to "make Britain normal again".

These are some of the key focus group findings that indicate that traditional opinion polls have not found any significant change in attitudes towards the pandemic.

A leading pollster believes the UK could see a replication of what happened in the 2015 elections and the EU referendum.

Opinion polls predicted Labor's Ed Miliband would be Prime Minister and Brexit opposed: focus groups pointed to the opposite and proved correct every time.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, most polls suggest voters support lockdowns and, if anything, the government is placing even stricter restrictions.

Some have argued that this is because taxpayers have allowed workers on leave to stay home for 80 percent of their normal wages.

Many Tory MPs opposed to Boris Johnson's three-tier lockdown system claim their stance is supported by many of their constituents.

The Daily Mail listened to one of the focus groups typical of several recent ones and reiterated the views of MPs.

It was held last Friday and covers a cross-section of society, both Tory and Labor, in London, Birmingham and Liverpool. It seems to show that:

  • Voters have lost confidence in bans.
  • In contrast to the first wave, they are no longer ready to follow all the rules.
  • They think the second wave of the virus will be less dangerous;
  • They are increasingly concerned about the damage to jobs and the economy;
  • Many will turn down a coronavirus vaccine for fear of side effects.
  • There is lingering anger over rule violations such as the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Dominic Cummings.

Sheffield revelers are in town for one final night tonight before their town is placed under the strictest level three lockdown

Police officers arriving in downtown Cardiff off Wales around 1745 will enter a two-week "fire safety" lockdown at 6pm on Friday to protect the country's NHS from the coronavirus resurgence

Police officers arriving in downtown Cardiff off Wales around 1745 will initiate a two-week lockdown at 6pm on Friday to protect the country's NHS from the coronavirus resurgence

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street today to meet with Cabinet Ministers at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London, England

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street today to meet with Cabinet Ministers at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London, England

People are drinking tonight in Soho, London. One focus group showed that people lose confidence in bans and are less willing to obey the rules

People are drinking tonight in Soho, London. One focus group showed that people lose confidence in bans and are less willing to obey the rules

20,000 more cases, but data suggests the outbreak is slowing

The UK announced 20,530 more coronavirus cases and the deaths of 224 people yesterday, but official data suggests that the country's outbreak may be slowing.

Positive tests were up 31 percent last Friday from 15,650, and deaths were up 65 percent in a week.

However, government scientists claimed the crucial R-rate had decreased slightly, and a number of statistics found that cases are no longer growing as fast as they used to be, although the epidemic is still growing.

SAGE estimates that the UK's reproductive rate fell for the first time in a month from 1.3-1.5 to 1.2-1.4. The number – the key measure in number 10's plan to fight the virus – must stay below one or the outbreak will continue to grow.

JL Partners' James Johnson, who moderated the focus group, said the results were the same as in similar studies he had conducted.

He said the results convinced him that opinion would turn against bans.

He said that "nuanced conversations" held in focus groups involving only a handful of people have uncovered "hidden truths" about the pandemic and attitudes towards the government's lockdown strategy.

Mr Johnson, who advised Theresa May on Downing Street, argues that focus groups are determined to use common sense not to get the virus in place of government dictates.

Voters are "tired" of the curbs and unwilling to continue to be compliant, especially when they see high profile personalities they disregard.

The public, he said, is confused by the rules and is just as likely to see comedian Matt Lucas parodying Boris Johnson's stuttering press conference on Downing Street as the Prime Minister himself.

Mr Johnson says that on certain issues, the intimate atmosphere of his focus groups allows participants to reveal their true feelings.

This is in contrast to opinion polls, which ask around 1,000 voters to answer dozen of questions, usually online, with yes or no.

In his most recent focus group, Liverpool pensioner Brian complained: “People with cancer, heart disease and strokes all die.

"We're saving people with coronavirus, but the rest of the population is dying from diseases we can control."

The public knew locks "always collapse," he told the group.

Angela, 59, from Birmingham said she had been months without her older parents earlier in the year and had not done that again.

Paul, a London property developer, mocked the 10pm curfew, saying the virus was "only spread among the crowds that were being wasted on the streets".

Steph, a charity worker, was just as resilient, despite having the virus herself.

She said Mr Cummings was "disgusting" for violating Covid rules, adding, "We need to get back to normal."

In public, the government is sticking to its strict stance on bans and insisting that the rules are vital to preventing the virus from spiraling out of control.

In private, however, the government's position is a different story: like the focus groups, it is more nuanced.

The Daily Mail believes ministers are being encouraged by signs that predictions of hundreds of thousands more infections and tens of thousands more deaths in a second wave could be an overestimate.

According to reliable sources, there is evidence that the rate of infection among university students is falling.

And there is evidence that mass masks have caused the virus to lose up to 90 percent of its lethal effectiveness.

This, along with more effective drugs, has reduced the death rate in intensive care units in hospitals.

"Let's get back to normal!": Thoughts and feelings of an angry audience

Q: What do you think of the government's coronavirus rules?

Alec, 61, consultant, London, Conservative

They are confusing, unenforceable, and ignored by people.

Brian, 68, retired, Liverpool, Conservative

A member of the focus group said government special adviser Dominic Cummings, pictured at right, was "disgusting" for breaking the rules

A focus group member said the government's special adviser Dominic Cummings, pictured at right, was "gross" for breaking the rules

It kills more people with cancer. Coronavirus is 40th on the list (of causes of death). People with heart problems and strokes all die. We're saving people with coronavirus, but the rest die from diseases we can control.

Amira, (female) 30, school administrator, London, laboratory

They do not match the statistics.

Paul, 48, developer, Birmingham, Conservative

They are patronizing and unjust.

Daniel, 24, student, London, Conservative

Confusing; People in government wouldn't stick to them.

Q: Do rules work?

Paul

No. The virus has no time, racial or gender limit. (Authorities) believe it will go away at ten o'clock when the pubs close, but it just spreads out among the crowds that are wasted on the streets.

Brian

You can hold it down for a while, but it will keep breaking out.

Steph, 38, charity worker, Liverpool, Labor

We have (already) tried to lock, we need to get back to normal. How will a second lock be different?

Q: Are you going to follow new rules?

Amira

No, I am very close to my family. I haven't seen her in six months, I'm not going to do it again.

Brian

We all initially followed the rules because we correctly thought we had to get rid of this virus. We went through all the pain of lockdown, now they want us to face another. The consensus is that they (the public) know it won't work, it will always break down.

Howard, 23, engineer, Liverpool

When you need to see your loved ones, see them. If that's why you stop by – don't do it.

Angela, 59, Birmingham, work

I wear a mask when I go out, but I'll see my family anyway because my parents are older. I had a few months not to see her … and I'm not going to do that again. Everything else I will act normally because I could not go through it mentally again.

Daniel

I would break it (lockdown) to see my family – for my sanity.

Paul

Not really. When you need to see your loved ones, see them.

Q: What should MINISTERS do instead?

Angela

Go ahead and be sensible, don't mingle with large crowds. Get back to normal as much as possible.

Daniel

There should be a suspension with very harsh penalties … for a short time. Then we could remove the virus and live as we want.

Q: Why did trust in the rules break down?

Paul

If the queen doesn't wear a mask, why should I bother?

Steph

Dominic Cummings & # 39; (behavior) was disgusting, Matt Hancock put his arm around other MPs in the lower house.

Paul

You have Cummings on a jolly, the woman (MP) who went from Scotland to London and back with the virus and is not being prosecuted. It's a cop. And they want to punish us!

Brian

According to the mail, the average age of a dying Covid person is 82 years and the average life expectancy is 81 years. So who are we protecting? There is a good chance that I would survive at age 68.

Q: Do you have a Covid vaccine?

Angela

I don't believe in vaccines, wouldn't have any.

Paul

What if they put out one that hasn't been tested, and in five years we'll all have side effects? We're all going to sue the government for being forced to have it.

Alec

I'm going to take it because it's going to be a worldwide vaccine.

Focus groups were more reliable than polls during Brexit, writes JAMES JOHNSON, dispelling the idea that we are a nation of lockdown lovers

Take a look at the polls that continue to show high levels of support for tighter restrictions and you will be forgiven for being a nation of lockdown lovers.

But the polls hide a hidden truth – because focus groups, moderated discussions with voter groups, show that the mood is very different than in March and April.

Instead of happily jumping into another lock, people are frustrated, tired, and more aware than ever of the economic impact of further restrictions.

In discussions I've had across the country, voters are increasingly talking about how to approach restrictions with common sense. They talk openly about how they will visit older relatives and shape their lives in ways they would not have done during the first ban.

Only 10 percent of the public follow self-isolating orders

Only one in ten stays home two weeks after being instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.

Of those who were told they were in close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case, only 10.9 percent were isolated for the following 14 days.

The alarming numbers undermine the premise of the test and trace system, which is designed to prevent the virus from spreading.

The main reasons for the improper quarantine were because there were no symptoms, there was no need to stay away from people outside the household or to go to the stores to buy groceries.

The numbers were revealed in documents from Sage – the emergency scientific advisory group.

This is not mass disobedience – the public remains concerned about the virus and is likely to accept new restrictions with resignation rather than revolution. But they are increasingly taking matters into their own hands.

In the past, nuanced conversations with voters have revealed such hidden truths. Participate in the 2015 election when Labor and Conservatives were on par in the polls but fears continued to arise in focus groups about the role Nicola Sturgeon might play in a government led by Ed Miliband.

Similarly, most opinion polls before the 2016 EU referendum pointed to a win for Remain. Focus groups showed a much deeper concern about the EU's uncontrolled immigration and support for Brexit. In both cases, focus groups were more reliable.

What caused this change in public sentiment regarding coronavirus restrictions? First, people talk about how tired they are from the measures and say that even though they see why they are needed, they are not sure they will have another six months of it.

The effects on mental health and routine NHS care are more common.

There is also growing frustration that those responsible do not follow the rules but expect us to do so. Dominic Cummings & # 39; trip to Barnard Castle keeps coming up.

Finally, there is widespread confusion about the rules.

The tiered system generated more questions than answers. Terms like "rule of six" and "support bubble" are used synonymously.

The public remains concerned about the virus and wants to put health first. But the image of a nation happily jumping into Lockdown 2.0 is misleading. The mood is very different than in spring.

JL Partners' James Johnson was a Downing Street election advisor to Theresa May

Trolley police crackdown: Now LIDL covers its famous aisle as Tesco workers in Wales cover kettles and bedding on shelves after "power-mad" Prime Minister Mark Drakeford sold "non-essential" items and crossed the border with the English police patrol has forbidden

Supermarket workers in Wales covered kettles and phone chargers on shelves yesterday when "power-mad" First Minister Mark Drakeford banned the sale of "non-essential" items during the country's coronavirus fire lockdown.

Tesco and Lidl staff became Wales' first "trolley police" when they hid shelves of "non-essential" items behind plastic wrap to deter customers from buying them before restrictions began last night were introduced.

Plastic barriers and stacks of beverage crates were also set up to block off certain aisles, while other items were taped off by staff to comply with the draconian new rules.

In other major supermarkets, Sainsbury's staff worked around the clock to make changes while Waitrose reviewed government guidelines and Asda claimed it had "very little time" to implement the new rules.

Four employees at a Tesco store in Pontypool could be seen inspecting the cover-up for a 20-minute test run before the latest restrictions went into effect. Witnesses admitted they had never seen anything like it.

Mr Drakeford described preventing supermarkets from selling non-essential products during the fire lock as "a simple matter of fairness".

Supermarket workers in Wales hushed kettles and phone chargers from shelves today as "power-mad" First Minister Mark Drakeford banned the sale of "non-essential" items during the country's coronavirus fire lockdown

Supermarket workers in Wales hushed kettles and phone chargers from shelves today as "power-mad" First Minister Mark Drakeford banned the sale of "non-essential" items during the country's coronavirus fire lockdown

Lidl closed all "non-essential" aisles in Porthmadog, long before today's 6:00 p.m. deadline, with the ban that would apply for the duration of the 17-day "fire break" ban

Lidl closed all "non-essential" aisles in Porthmadog, long before today's 6:00 p.m. deadline, with the ban that should apply for the duration of the 17-day "fire break" ban

First Minister Mark Drakeford (pictured today) said it will be "made clear" to supermarkets that only certain parts of their stores can be opened to sell essentials

First Minister Mark Drakeford (pictured today) said it will be "made clear" to supermarkets that only certain parts of their stores can be opened to sell essentials

The Christmas chaos, as No10 says, families MAY gather this year, but the minister warns that it will not be "normal"

The prospect of a family Christmas was further puzzled yesterday when Downing Street insisted that families gather – but a minister warned that this would not be "normal".

The mixed messages came as politicians desperately tried to control a surge in coronavirus cases – with lockdowns tightened in many areas.

There are strict restrictions on people meeting indoors in much of the UK but they asked if families should give up hope of meeting. A spokesman for Number 10 said: “The Prime Minister has previously made it clear that he is confident that we can in many ways get some aspects of our lives back to normal by Christmas.

"As I said, it was clear to us that this year the family would be able to celebrate Christmas."

The comments contrasted with Treasury Secretary Steve Barclay's stance in a round of interviews yesterday morning.

He said, "I think few people expect it to be exactly as it normally is because we will be living with this virus for some time."

The Welsh Labor leader couldn't hide his frustration today as he was repeatedly asked about the restrictions, which have now been in place for 17 days. He said they were "fair" and crucial in stopping the virus from spreading.

He told a press conference in Cardiff that any suggestion that the ban announced Thursday was based on his own policy was "nonsensical".

He said: “We are asking hundreds of small businesses to close on the main road across Wales.

“We can't do that and then allow supermarkets to sell goods that these people can't sell.

“And we try to minimize the time people spend outside their homes in that two-week period.

"This is not the time to go shopping for non-essential items in supermarkets."

He said trying to find exemptions from the rules was "just the wrong" approach and urged the people of Wales not to use the ceasefire to do things they don't have to.

"It's a simple matter of fairness – we're here in Wales together," he added.

It has been confirmed that police checks will be in place on an important stretch of the border with England. Gloucestershire Constabulary can tell drivers wishing to drive to Wales to turn around if officers are not satisfied with their explanation.

If they refuse, police said they will notify the armed forces in Wales so they can issue a fine.

Mr Drakeford has long had a conflict with Boris Johnson when he tried to impose travel restrictions in England on those living in cities with high numbers of cases.

Officials were also out and about in Cardiff city center that evening when the new rules went into effect at 6 p.m. and dozen of stores closed for the next fortnight.

Elsewhere, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today that Scotland will enter a new five tier system of Covid-19 restrictions.

The new model will go into effect on November 2nd, when current hospitality restrictions expire. It comprises five levels of measures from level zero to level four that are applied in different parts of Scotland.

Supermarket customers in Wales today claimed sales of comforters, bedding and electrical appliances had been stopped by Tesco employees covering shelves with plastic.

Tesco customer Jamie Cole, 31, said the aisle with kettles and phone chargers is also "completely closed" despite being "needed" as temperatures gradually drop across the country.

Mr. Cole said, “I was shocked, it's pretty bad. Bedding should be available for children and mothers. We're coming into winter, it's cold outside, I couldn't believe it.

“I don't have children of my own, but my girlfriend and sister have children, she's also pretty shocked. You rely on Tesco as it is the only supermarket in our town.

“That was at 10:49 am today, the restrictions won't come into effect until 6 pm and all other supermarkets are fine. The employees only follow orders, it happened so quickly. They just announced it around 7pm last night.

“I'm 30 years old and I've never seen anything like it in my life. You follow the rules then do this, it's pretty intimidating. There was another corridor that was also completely closed, namely the stationery corridor and the electrical system.

“If you needed a kettle or a phone charger, this aisle was completely closed. I've done some homework and there isn't a key items list on the Wales government website.

"I think it's the supermarket that decides which items are important."

A Tesco spokesperson confirmed to MailOnline: "Our colleagues across Wales will be working incredibly hard today to comply with the Welsh government's ban on selling" nonessential "goods to our customers from 6pm this evening."

It came after Mr. Drakeford snapped today when he was toasted over his ban on the shops selling the items in his lock.

The Labor First Minister couldn't hide his frustration when asked repeatedly about the restrictions, which went into effect at 6 p.m. for 17 days.

He insisted that they were "fair" and crucial in stopping the virus from spreading.

However, when asked if it was “imperative” for parents to buy new school pants if their kids tear them up, Drakeford groaned, “It's just the wrong way to approach this whole business.

"We're back to the approach of how to bypass the rules for coronavirus."

Pallets of inventory are blocking access to non-essential goods in the Sainsburys store in Crindau, Newport, at the start of the fire lockdown

Pallets of inventory are blocking access to non-essential goods in the Sainsburys store in Crindau, Newport, at the start of the fire lockdown

Crates of beverages have been used to cordon off non-essential aisles in the Tesco store in Cardiff to comply with the new rules

Crates of beverages have been used to cordon off non-essential aisles in the Tesco store in Cardiff to comply with the new rules

Non-essential aisles were cordoned off with a plastic barrier today in this Tesco Extra store on Western Avenue, Cardiff

Non-essential aisles were cordoned off with a plastic barrier today in this Tesco Extra store on Western Avenue, Cardiff

A barrier was erected at a Tesco supermarket in Swansea today as supermarkets are instructed to stop selling non-essential items

A barrier was erected at a Tesco supermarket in Swansea today as supermarkets are instructed to stop selling non-essential items

A barrier was erected at a Tesco supermarket in Swansea today as supermarkets are instructed to stop selling non-essential items

A barrier was erected at a Tesco supermarket in Swansea today as supermarkets are instructed to stop selling non-essential items

He added irritably, "There is a greater price at stake here than whether or not you have to buy a candle."

Mr Drakeford insisted that it was unacceptable to allow supermarkets to continue selling clothing and other products while smaller retailers were closed.

"We're all here in Wales together," he said at a press conference in Cardiff.

"This is no time to go shopping for non-essential items in supermarkets."

Anger rose today, however, when Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething made it clear that alcohol is a key element under the confusing new rules – but insisted that hair dryers don't.

He also acknowledged that a "line by line" list of products sold was "unusable" and hoped retailers would have an "adult understanding".

There are fears that this will mark a return to the scenes seen at the start of the pandemic, when there was controversy over the contents of people's shopping carts.

Mr Drakeford said this afternoon that local restrictions have managed to contain the spread of the virus but not "turn it back".

He compared the progress like Torfaen positively to areas in England like Oldham.

But he said the "brief sharp shock" of a lockdown was now essential.

"We need to act now because the virus is rising too quickly," he said.

Many retailers will be forced to close completely during the "fire safety" lockdown, but grocery stores and pharmacies can remain open.

During a bruised interview with Kay Burley on Sky News, Mr Gething said the Welsh government was producing "categories" that could be sold.

"A supermarket that sells clothes is not essential. We want them to understand what they can do so that they can do that."

He added, “We don't want to go line by line through thousands of product items. That would be useless from their and our point of view, ”he said.

Burley asked if the situation meant alcohol was essential but a hair dryer was not.

"Well, look, food and drink are things we had in the first phase of the pandemic. They're available everywhere," Gething replied.

When the moderator insisted, "Trust me, my hair dryer is important," Mr. Gething replied, "No, it isn't, Kay."

Burley said, 'Of course it is. Look at the condition of your hair compared to mine. I need to dry my hair, you can towel dry yours. & # 39;

But Mr Gething replied, "I don't think the biggest problem on people's minds in Wales is going to be whether they can buy a hair dryer for the next two weeks."

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Nachrichten (t) EU Referendum (t) Coronavirus