Third of Scots back return of lockdown after COP26, poll shows
Polling by Savanta ComRes for Scotland on Sundayshows Scots would back the reintroduction of tougher Covid measures after COP26, without the need for higher case rates or deaths.
On Friday, Nicola Sturgeon said the major climate change conference set to begin in Glasgow “inevitably” posed a risk of increased Covid transmission.
Her health secretary Humza Yousaf told the BBC last weekend there was “absolutely a risk” of an increase in Covid-19 cases.
They added the Scottish Government was working alongside partners at the UN, UK Government and in Glasgow to ensure as low a risk as possible.
Delegates at the conference will need to present a negative lateral flow test each day to enter the main ‘blue zone’ of the conference, with the UK Government leading a vaccination programme for delegates prior to the conference.
However, regardless of whether there is an increase in Covid-19 cases or not, a significant minority of Scots would back a return to full lockdown after COP26 ended.
Those most likely to support a return of lockdown tend to be the youngest Scots, although support is relatively consistent across the age groups.
However, there are clear political differences, with Scottish Green and SNP voters most likely to back a full lockdown.
A total of 35 per cent of SNP and Green voters would back a lockdown, compared to just over one in five (21 per cent) of Conservative voters, with 65 per cent of Tory voters opposing such a move.
There is more support for the reintroduction of measures which would see bars and restaurants shut earlier than they would in normal times, with 38 per cent of Scots willing to back such a move and 40 per cent opposing it.
The full closure of hospitality, however, would receive less backing from the public than a full lockdown.
Just over a quarter of Scots (26 per cent) would back the move, with 52 per cent opposing it.
The figures come after Professor Devi Sridhar, speaking on Friday, backed the extension of the Covid-19 vaccine certification scheme to include indoor venues such as cafes and gyms.
The existing scheme, which does not apply to COP26, requires anyone aged 18 or over to prove their vaccination status before being granted entry to nightclubs or large indoor and outdoor events.
Prof Sridhar, who advises the Scottish Government on Covid-19 policy and is chair of global health at Edinburgh University, said it was likely COP26 would lead to additional restrictions.
She said on Twitter: “I could be wrong (and hope I am) but yes. A mass event (with major movement of people in and out) with an infectious virus will cause an increase in cases.
"While in the case of Covid will put stress on limited health services. Which triggers need for further restrictions.”
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Ms Sturgeon said she could not rule out new restrictions coming in after COP26.
She said: “We don't ever want to go back to the kind of restrictions we had or even to reintroduce any restrictions, but you can never rule anything out in the kind of situation we are in just now.
"What we know for certain is if we all behave in ways that are proven to stop transmission, we have a better chance of avoiding that, which is what we all want to do.”
National clinical director Jason Leitch said there had to be a “reverse gear” when dealing with Covid. He said existing modelling showed stability or a slight fall in case numbers in coming weeks.
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