The British public has lost confidence in the way the government is dealing with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, according to a poll by Opinium published on Sunday.
The survey found that 42 per cent of those polled were unhappy with how the British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has handled the pandemic, while 39 per cent approve of the way the crisis is being handled.
This is the first time these approval ratings have dipped into negative territory, the pollster noted.
The poll sought the opinion of 2,000 adults between May 13 and 14.
In an editorial in the newspaper Mail on Sunday, Johnson said he understood people’s frustration with the government’s plan to ease its restrictions.
“We are trying to do something that has never had to be done before – moving the country out of a full lockdown, in a way which is safe and does not risk sacrificing all of your hard work,” Johnson wrote and asked for people to be patient.
During the past week, Johnson called for some measures to be lifted, and people in England have been allowed to leave their homes and take trips since Wednesday.
The government also changed its slogan from “Stay Home” to “Stay Alert.”
Many criticized the government’s advice as unclear, however, and regional leaders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland refused to implement the new guidance, meaning different rules are in place.
With an official death toll of 34,000, Britain has recorded the most deaths in Europe due to the virus, according to official figures.
In total, it is expected that in fact, more than 40,000 people have died of COVID-19.