Half of British adults think there will be another Covid lockdown this year, according to a new poll.
The survey, by Savanta ComRes, found that 49 per cent believe there will be further lockdowns, with 74 per cent concerned about another virus wave this winter. Fears are highest amongst those aged over 55, at 78 per cent.
While over half – 55 per cent – think the worst of Covid is behind us, 19 per cent believe the worst is yet to come.
Chris Hopkins, of Savanta ComRes, said: "While it may feel to many that the UK is out of the woods with coronavirus, there is still an underlying feeling – or perhaps fear – among the public that there are more restrictions, including lockdowns, to come.
"That, coupled with a small but significant proportion who feel that the worst of the pandemic is still ahead of us, shows that trust in the vaccine rollout may still be undermined if the UK enters further restrictions during a winter that will be inevitably challenging for the NHS."
The poll comes after experts warned that the uptake of Covid booster jabs may be too slow to prevent hospitals from becoming overcrowded this winter. One month into the booster programme, NHS figures suggest only half of eligible over-80s have received a third dose.
The number of people aged 65 to 84 admitted to hospital has risen 19 per cent in the past week.
On Sunday, the UK reported a 30 per cent weekly increase of virus cases to 45,140 within 28 days of a positive test – the highest total since July – but deaths have fallen by nearly two-thirds, from 148 to 57 in the past week.
Of the 2,103 UK adults interviewed online by Savanta ComRes between Oct 8 to 10, three in 10 said another lockdown would show that the vaccine rollout had been a failure. But three in five believe a firebreak lockdown would be effective at relieving pressure on the NHS.
While half of UK adults expect there to be further lockdowns in 2021, 33 per cent think there will be no further restrictions.