'All in this together' - majority of readers back national lockdown easing

Sheringham town centre. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham town centre. Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

The vast majority of our readers don't want to see a return to localised tier systems, backing a national easing of lockdown despite low case numbers in areas including north Norfolk.

In a poll of 557 readers conducted by this newspaper, roughly 80pc supported a national lifting of measures as they felt it provided a clearer message and prevented tourists visiting from high-risk areas.

North Norfolk has had a consistently low level of coronavirus cases, and many towns in the district reported less than three cases in the government's latest Covid figures.

Its MP Duncan Baker has previously said he has "considerable concerns" about how the district would keep rates low when the stay at home message began to lift.

One respondent said: "Localised restrictions led to chaos and too much arguing about what is fair, it's difficult to stop people moving between locations in the UK."

Another added: "The whole country is in this together, if restrictions are lifted anywhere, flouters will just head to areas where they can get coffee or open shops.

"Unfortunately too many people don't care about protecting others and spoil it for everyone else."

Of the 20pc who supported some measures being lifted locally, many backed an earlier return for non-essential shops and visits to natural beauty spots.

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One person replied: "I would like to see shops, hairdressers and gyms reopen but not travel to other areas.

"The definition of ‘local’ being your town or village only, which means I can’t walk on the beach three miles away or meet one friend from another town five miles away for a walk - it is unfair on rural areas with low prevalence."

Despite high support for national measures, slightly fewer backed prime minister Boris Johnson's road map as a realistic way of returning to normality.

Just over half - 58.9pc - believed the speed of the road map was just right, with more than a quarter - 26.6pc - saying the government was going too quickly.

Most said they felt north Norfolk had a low infection rate due to geographical make-up and its largely elderly population of whom many have received the vaccine, however some backed MP Duncan Baker's view that a "religious" observation of lockdown has kept rates down.

One respondent said: "We are a relatively small population who have largely done as asked. We are a come to place and not somewhere on the way to somewhere else.

"The number of infections have to be far lower before we allow our population to increase massively with holiday makers."