Britons support 'quarantining entire UK cities' over coronavirus

Three quarters of Britons would support quarantining entire UK cities to combat the spread of coronavirus, new poll reveals

  • 74 per cent thought isolating thousands of people would be a ‘correct’ move 
  • Only 26 per cent thought that the step would be a Government ‘over-reaction’
  • Came as England’s Chief Medical Officer warned disease will kill more Britons

Britons overwhelmingly support quarantining entire cities if it would halt the spread of coronavirus, a new poll reveals today.

Almost three quarters (74 per cent) of people thought that shutting off hundreds of thousands of people in the way that Wuhan has been isolated in China, would be a ‘correct’ move by the Government.

Only 26 per cent thought that the step would be an ‘over-reaction’ according to a new poll by IpsosMori today.

The findings are in line with other nations including the United States, Russia, Australia and Canada.

However Italy, which has seen multiple deaths from the outbreak, saw the lowest support for quarantining.  

It came as England’s Chief Medical Officer warned that the disease will kill more Britons and a UK epidemic was now ‘highly likely’.

Workers forced to quarantine themselves at home during the coronavirus outbreak will be able to claim sick pay from the first day of their illness, Boris Johnson confirmed today

Wuhan plan: People wearing protective masks and suits carry rubbish bins during disinfection work at Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, today

Professor Chris Whitty’s chilling message for Britain’s 66million residents came as the total number of UK cases rose to 53 today after two patients in Scotland – one in Ayrshire and one in Grampian – tested positive. 

It is looking less and less likely that the UK will replicate the isolation that has been seen in Wuhan. 

Because the disease is already in the country and would be hard to contain in one place at this stage, medics believe that the social and economic cost of quarantining thousands of people would far outstrip any benefit.

Anna Quigley, research director at Ipsos Mori, said: ‘These results clearly show that the UK public recognise the potential impact of the virus on the country, and support strong measures to deal with it. 

‘Perceptions of the government’s response have worsened over the past two weeks and it will be interesting to see whether this shifts following the release of the Government’s action plan. 

‘It is, however, encouraging that the public still believe health services are doing a good job.’

Workers forced to quarantine themselves at home during the coronavirus outbreak will be able to claim sick pay from the first day of their illness, Boris Johnson confirmed today.

The Prime Minister confirmed that the legal change would be among the first wave of emergency powers he will introduce to deal with the spread of the killer virus. 

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