Majority of Brits wouldn't blame Boris Johnson's government for second wave of coronavirus

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24:  (Alternate crop of #1227758502) Prime minister Boris Johnson wears a face mask as he visits Tollgate Medical Centre in Beckton on July 24, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson's government would not get the blame for a second wave, according to a new poll (Picture: Getty)

The majority of people living in the UK would not blame the Conservative government for a second wave of coronavirus, according to a new YouGov poll.

The public would bear the brunt of the responsibility rather than Boris Johnson’s administration, the new survey suggests.

In total 52% of the respondents said the public would be at fault, 31% said the Tories would take responsibility, 11% said neither and 7% said they did not know.

The survey polled 2,447 adults.

On Tuesday, a study warned Britain risked a second wave of COVID-19 this winter twice as large as the initial outbreak if it reopens schools full-time without improving its test-and-trace system.

In total 52% of the respondents said the public would be at fault (Picture: YouGov)
In total 52% of the respondents said the public would be at fault (Picture: YouGov)

Schools in the UK closed in March during a national lockdown, except for the children of key workers, and reopened in June for a small number of pupils.

All children are now on their summer breaks.

The government wants all pupils to return to school by early September, with the prime minister calling this a national priority.

Researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine modelled the impact of reopening schools, combined with continuing to gradually ease social-distancing measures, under a range of scenarios.

If schools reopened full-time, 75% of people with COVID-19 symptoms would need to be diagnosed and isolated and 68% of their contacts would need to be traced, according to their study published in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal.

The test-and-trace system in England is currently reaching about 50% of contacts of those testing positive, according to the study’s lead author Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths.

Junior local government minister Simon Clarke said the system was constantly being tweaked to make it more effective, adding that officials were looking at whether there should be a physical follow-up if some people could not be reached by phone.

The latest official data, for the period July 16-22, showed that the test-and-trace system reached 81% of people who tested positive, and that 81% of those it reached provided details for contacts.

The system reached 75% of those contacts.

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