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Norfolk split 50:50 over new coronavirus restrictions, EDP survey finds

PUBLISHED: 05:40 28 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:52 28 September 2020

Shoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: Denise Bradley

Shoppers out in force wearing masks in Norwich city centre on the first day it became mandatory for shoppers to wear face coverings in shops. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

Three quarters of people in Norfolk say they remain anxious about the prospect of a second wave of coronavirus hitting this autumn, an EDP survey has found.

Results from EDP survey.Results from EDP survey.

After prime minister Boris Johnson said the UK has reached “a perilous turning point”, as he set out a raft of new coronavirus restrictions which could last for up to six months, we asked people how they felt.

Asked how they felt about the danger of a second wave, 65pc of the 450 people who responded in the online survey said they remain extremely or slightly nervous, with 22pc saying they were unfazed.

MORE: Check the latest coronavirus case numbers where you live

Almost two thirds (65pc) said they felt Norfolk was currently extremely or fairly safe, though there was an almost 50:50 split on whether the region needed a second lockdown with 45pc saying no, 20pc yes and 33pc yes, but only partially.

Results from EDP survey.Results from EDP survey.

Three quarters thought any future measures should be proportionate to an area’s infection rate.

Questioned on what aspect of the pandemic they were most concerned about, one respondent said: “Public complacency. If we don’t collectively all do our bit, community transmission won’t drop without a full national lockdown again.”

However another added: “I’m concerned that the side-effects of the lockdown will cause more harm to the health and welfare of our people of all ages, especially the younger generation, than the Covid virus.”

Coronavirus testing centre. Only 12pc in the EDP survey had been tested. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA WireCoronavirus testing centre. Only 12pc in the EDP survey had been tested. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The findings come as the latest figures show the number of positive tests in Norfolk has risen slightly over the past week, though the county remains amongst those with the lowest infection rates in the country.

The Public Health England figures show Norfolk had 105 positive cases in the seven days to September 23.

Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Breckland, Broadland and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk all saw positive cases rise. However positives in South Norfolk fell, while North Norfolk recorded the lowest figures in England with just two positive tests.

Results from EDP survey.Results from EDP survey.

MORE: Autumn flu season prompts Norfolk coronavirus prevention campaign

The Norfolk infection rate is currently 11.5 per 100,000 people, up from 7.8 the week before.

In contrast, Burnley, where there is an outbreak, has the highest infection rate in the country, with 256.4 positive cases per 100,000 people.

The EDP survey found more than half (53pc) agreed with the raft of new measures brought in by the government, with 65pc believing most people were abiding by them.

Results from EDP survey.Results from EDP survey.

However the impact on the economy was raised by a large number of respondents with two thirds saying they were worried about your job security.

YOUR SAY IN EDP SURVEY

Woman taking coronavirus test. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA WireWoman taking coronavirus test. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

What Covid-19 measures would you change?

• “Clear guidance that’s easy to understand. Exact guidance for retail, pubs and restaurants, not vague ‘rely on common sense’ lines that we’re stuck with. An overall harder stance, whilst people may not like it, is needed.”

• “Two households rather than six people meeting. We see big crowds of teenagers and young children at our local park and scores of school children and their parents but I can’t see my son and his family as we are a family of five at home and he is a family of five”.

Results from EDP survey.Results from EDP survey.

• “Close schools until spring and scrap this year, so everyone retakes this school year next year, which will extend all school children’s education by a year.”

• “Accept that masks haven’t worked for all the reasons scientists said they wouldn’t work at the beginning.”

What aspect of the pandemic are you most concerned about?

• “Death rates amongst elderly and vulnerable, unless we come together as a country and do this together, it is inevitable that the virus is going to reach the vulnerable sections of society.”

• “Causing pressure on the NHS and hospitals. Winter brings a lot of other illnesses that no one is bothering to worry about now.”

• “Locking ourselves away, hoping the virus goes away. We have to carry on living our lives and not being scared to go out. Long term there will be more health issues.”

• “Our loss of freedoms and erosion of civil liberties. The cure is worse than the cause. We as a nation are being bullied with threats of fines for not abiding by ‘laws and rules’ brought into use without proper political and legal debate.”


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