The No 1 reason people break COVID rules is those who run the country don't stick to them

Senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, arrives in Downing Street, London. A post-Brexit trade deal with the EU is hanging in the balance after Brussels demanded the UK abandon plans to override key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dominic Cummings was accused of breaking lockdown rules (Picture: Getty)

The main reason people do not follow coronavirus restrictions is those who run the country don't stick to them, according to a new poll.

An Ipsos MORI study asked 1,067 adults aged 18-75 how convincing several arguments were against following restrictions.

In total 47% of people said they felt the lack of adherence to rules from authority figures contributed to people breaking them.

It came after officials continued to break regulations, with health secretary Matt Hancock being snapped without a mask in his chauffeur-driven car, which is against the rules and is punishable with a £200 fine.

The study asked how convincing several arguments were against following restrictions (Picture: Ipsos MORI)
The study asked how convincing several arguments were against following restrictions (Picture: Ipsos MORI)

No 10 chief adviser Dominic Cummings was also criticised after going on an infamous trip to from his London home to County Durham during lockdown.

Last month, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was pictured at a dinner party with seven other guests in London that took place less than two weeks after rules on social gatherings of more than six people were banned.

Parliament was also forced into an embarrassing U-turn over-serving alcohol in its bars after 10pm.

The Times reported that bars in the Palace of Westminster would be exempt from the coronavirus curfew, applied on pubs, bars and restaurants across England.

But after widespread anger, Parliament decided to ban the sale of alcohol on its premises after 10pm in line with the rest of the country.

MP Margaret Ferrier also had the SNP whip withdrawn after travelling from Scotland to London while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test that later turned out to be positive.

Watch: Sir Keir Starmer calls on SNP's Margaret Ferrier to stand down

The number of people who claim to be following the coronavirus rules was up by 11% to 73%, compared to 62% last month, the poll revealed.

But the most commonly broken rules were abiding by social distancing measures (42%) and visiting friends or family who they aren’t allowed to (19%)

The data also showed Brits were more convinced by arguments for following the restrictions.

Nearly 9 in 10 think preventing the spread to those most vulnerable, stopping friends and family catching the virus and ensuring the NHS is not overwhelmed (all 87%) are the most convincing arguments for following the rules.

A further 81% want to avoid catching the virus themselves while three-quarters (76%) think we will return to normal more quickly if we follow the rules and trust the scientists and medical experts.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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