COVID-19: Maltese say ‘no’ to lockdown despite average 128 daily cases of infections

MaltaToday COVID-19 Survey and Trust Barometer: 53% disagree with a coronavirus lockdown

Among the elderly (65+), a category that has been the worst hit in terms of deaths from coronavirus, 49.8% disagree with a lockdown, while 36.6% agree
Among the elderly (65+), a category that has been the worst hit in terms of deaths from coronavirus, 49.8% disagree with a lockdown, while 36.6% agree

A majority of people across all age groups are against a lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19, a MaltaToday survey out today shows.  

Asked whether the country should go into lockdown in the current pandemic circumstances, 53.3% of people disagreed, 37.6% agree and 9.1% are unsure.  

Malta, like the rest of Europe, has experienced a surge of infections over the past couple of months and registered a higher death toll from COVID-19.  

The latest restrictive measures are the obligatory wearing of face masks everywhere, the closure of bars and social clubs for a month, and the lowering of group gatherings in public to six people.  

Still, with a seven-day average of new infections over the past week stood at 128 new cases per day, Prime Minister Robert Abela has ruled out a lockdown when he shut down speculation over an unofficial list of new stricter measures was doing the rounds on social media.  

Abela called for patience and discipline, insisting the restrictive measures introduced last month were necessary to curb the spread but still allowed the country to continue functioning.

The highest opposition to a lockdown is among those aged between 36 and 50, a category normally characterised by working-age adults with children, people with loan commitments and with harder prospects of picking up a new job if they end up without work.

Among this age group, 58.6% disagree with a lockdown, while a third agree it is necessary.

However, opposition to a lockdown runs high in other age groups as well. Among those aged between 18 and 35, 52.5% disagree while 39.9% agree; and among those aged between 51 and 65, 51.9% disagree with a lockdown.

Among the elderly (65+), a category that has been the worst hit in terms of deaths from coronavirus, 49.8% disagree with a lockdown, while 36.6% agree.

However, the elderly are also the most unsure of what is best with 13.6% falling within this category.

Gozo bucks the trend  

Opposition to a lockdown cuts across all regions except Gozo, where a significant majority of 59.8% agree the country should shut down in the current circumstances.  

Labour Party voters are overwhelmingly against a lockdown, with 65.9% opposed to shutting down the country. Less than a quarter (22.7%) of PL voters agree with a lockdown and 11.5% are unsure.  

The tide changes among Nationalist Party voters. A majority (55.5%) of those who voted PN in the last general election are in favour of a lockdown but 40.9% are against. Only 3.7% of PN voters are unsure whether a lockdown is the best option in the circumstances. 

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