Public back Spain quarantine rules, but Tory lead slumps in new poll


The public have given Boris Johnson their backing over his Government's quick-fire decision to reimpose quarantine restrictions on Spain, according to a new poll.

But despite approval over Spain, the Prime Minister continues to face opposition to how his Conservative administration has handled the pandemic, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said to be making gains.

Data from polling company Opinium Research has suggested that close to two-thirds of people agreed with suspension of the travel corridor with Spain, which was announced less than five hours before it came into force on July 28.

The new rules, objected to by only 13% of the population according to Opinium's results, means that anyone arriving into the UK from Spain will now have to self-isolate for 14 days in response to the popular holiday destination's rising coronavirus infection rate.

It comes as 63% of people who had booked holidays confirmed they had seen their trip cancelled and another fifth said their plans had been postponed.

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they thought it likely a second wave of Covid-19 infections would hit the UK, with marginally more – 32% to 30% – judging that a second spike would be larger than the first.

The public have continued to express dissatisfaction with how ministers have dealt with coronavirus.

Almost half of those surveyed this week disapproved of the Government's handling of the crisis – while 30% approved, said Opinium.

The number of people who thought the lockdown had been eased too quickly rose by three points, up to 51%, in the past week.

Johnson Starmer
Johnson Starmer

A slight decline in Tory popularity means they lead Labour by only three points, the poll suggested, with Mr Johnson's party on 41% and Labour up to 38%.

The results come after the Prime Minister said on Friday he needed to "squeeze the brake pedal" on easing restrictions amid signs Covid-19's prevalence in the community was rising for the first time since May.

The planned relaxations for the leisure and beauty sectors have been postponed, while further pilots for spectators at sports events were also cancelled.

In what will be seen as a boost for the economy, the public look to becoming more confident about eating out and visiting pubs, with the number of those who have gone to restaurants or who plan to soon increasing to 33% – up from 27% a fortnight ago.

The news coincides with the Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which will see the Government pay half the bill, up to a maximum cost of £10, for meals eaten between Monday and Wednesday in August at participating restaurants.

The Opinium survey was carried out online between July 30-31, with 2,002 UK adults taking part.