Boris warned to avoid second lockdown as it would ‘ruin economy and diminish immunity’

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After he chairs the meeting on Tuesday, the Prime Minister is expected to give a sombre address to the nation in which he will announce new measures designed to curb the number of COVID-19 infections. As Britons brace for a possible second shutdown, Express.co.uk conducted a poll asking readers if there should be a repeat of the rules rolled on in March.

Asked if Mr Johnson should impose another lockdown, six in 10 respondents (4,805) said no while nearly four in 10 (3,041) said yes.

Just two percent (259) of the 8,105 readers who voted said they were not sure.

Many people called for restrictions to be enforced in a stronger way, with rule-breakers punished.

They argued that if everyone abided by the “rule of six” and wore a mask in shops and on public transport there would be no need for another complete shutdown.

Some people warned the economic consequences of a shutdown would be devastating while others questioned if a third or fourth lockdown would happen if ministers felt it was the only way to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

One reader questioned “how many lockdowns will there be” until Britons can return to normal life.

He added: “Will this be a continuing cycle until immunity builds up or a vaccine becomes available?

“And each time our ability to afford it as a country becomes more difficult and takes away from being able to treat people with other dangerous diseases or health problems.”

Another opponent said: “We can’t stay in lockdown forever and we don’t know when or if a vaccine will be available.

“Enforce the measures already in place but avoid more lockdown.”

And a third reader said: “Then what? A third, a fourth, fifth, sixth? We can’t keep on locking down.

“Accept it for what it is – a non-deadly virus, unless you suffer from other issues.

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“Protect yourself and don’t expect others to do it for you, it will never happen.”

One worried reader said they feared a second lockdown would wreak havoc on the country’s financial health and damage the immunity of much of the population.

They said: “Lockdowns are ruining the economy, destroying our built-in human capacity to fight off viruses and have diminished our natural immunity!

“These lockdowns are going to cause more cases, more infections from lots of other viruses, more suicides, more domestic and child abuse, more depression and more deaths – in the long run.”

Another person said the coronavirus crisis had transitioned from a public health crisis to a political one, as ministers slap strict rules on people at short notice.

They wrote: “It has gone beyond a health crisis, it’s now a political one.

“Boris is turning into a dictator, and has to be reined in before he destroys the entire economy of the UK.”

Ahead of the Cobra meeting tomorrow, Mr Johnson on Monday discussed the coronavirus response with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford,

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster, and Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

A spokesperson for Downing Street said: “During these calls, the prime minister made clear that the rising infection rates are a cause for great concern, which he is taking very seriously.

“He reiterated his unwavering commitment to working with the devolved administrations as we continue to tackle the virus.

“They all agreed to act with a united approach, as much as possible, in the days and weeks ahead.”

The Express.co.uk poll ran from 10.45am to 9.45pm on Monday, September 21.

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