lmost 80 per cent of the public support another national lockdown, new polling shows, as Boris Johnson prepares to announce fresh coronavirus restrictions.
The survey of 1,592 adults in Britain found 79 per cent backed a lockdown – up by 8 per cent from a similar poll on December 22 – while 16 per cent were against toughening restrictions further.
YouGov said those polled included people across all major political parties, regions and ages, with 51 per cent saying they “strongly” supported a lockdown.
He will set out emergency measures to control the spread of coronavirus amid concerns the NHS risks being overwhelmed.
Mr Johnson previously said that he did not rule out school closures in spite of his desire to keep them open. Downing Street declined to comment, the FT said.
The Prime Minister is also expected to confirm a change in the coronavirus alert levels, moving the country from level four to five.
Government sources indicated the UK’s chief medical officers have agreed to raise the Covid-19 alert level to five – its highest – meaning “transmission is high or rising exponentially” and “there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed”.
On Sunday Sir Keir Starmer urged the Prime Minister to impose a new national lockdown, but stopped short of calling for blanket school closures.
However on Monday the Labour leader solidified his position and said that “tragically” schools should close.
He tweeted: “We need a simple contract between the British people: the country goes into lockdown, the Government delivers the vaccine.
“Stay at home, protect the NHS, vaccinate Britain.”
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tweeted: “National lockdown means schools must close, and the government must provide the resources to keep all young people learning.
“We cannot afford to waste another lockdown. During this lockdown the government must deliver millions of vaccinations every week to get us out of it.”
Parliament will be recalled on Wednesday and Downing Street said that the move was in response to the “rapidly escalating” numbers of infections following the emergence of the new variant.
The latest figures showed a further 407 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday and there were a record 58,784 more lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.