Dutch support for the government’s COVID-19 measures has recovered

2022-05-26 0 By

Support for the Dutch government’s coronavirus policy has increased for the second month in a row, evident in a survey commissioned by NOS and conducted by I&O Research.More than half of respondents (51%) now support the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, up from less than half (45%) a month ago.The pollsters also asked people what they thought about specific measures related to the health of the Dutch population, which were also supported by more people, up from 48 percent in January to 54 percent now.Support for the cabinet’s economic measures has also increased.But while there was an increase, it was much lower, at 38 percent compared with 29 percent last month.I&O Research has been conducting surveys on support for government policies since the COVID-19 crisis began in March 2020.At the start of the crisis, support was high, even above 90%.As the crisis lasted longer, it gradually declined.In December, less than half of respondents, 40 percent, supported the government’s policies.It rose again last month to 45% and is now up further to 51%.The latest survey was conducted February 11-14.It was already clear that the cabinet was likely to announce far-reaching relaxation of measures at tonight’s press conference, and the vast majority of those polled wanted to relax too.Forty-seven per cent favoured relaxation and 38 per cent even wanted to drop all measures.In total, 85 percent want some form of relaxation of pandemic measures, a percentage that has never been higher, according to I&O Research.Only 9 per cent wanted current measures to remain in place and 3 per cent thought they should even be tightened.The similarities among respondents were striking, with supporters overwhelmingly in favor of loosening measures regardless of party affiliation, age and education.Supporters of parties such as the PVV and the Democratic Forum FvD even want to drop all measures and vote for the ruling coalition (VVD, D66, CDU CDA and Christian Christen Unie), or for the PvdA of the Labour Party and Groen Links of the Green Party,They also favor relaxation, but to a lesser degree.Among those who don’t want to relax their measures yet, there are fears of a resurgence of the coronavirus, for example with the emergence of a new variant.Therefore, they are in favour of continuing to enforce rules on maintaining a one-and-a-half metre distance and wearing masks, for example on public transport.However, the cabinet may not choose to do so and will stick with basic advice such as no handshakes, frequent hand washing, ventilation and testing when symptoms appear.For those who say that all measures should be scrapped, the argument is often that they are disproportionate and have achieved nothing, citing the mild character of the now dominant omicron variant.According to this group of respondents, many people who are infected do not go to the hospital quickly, and certainly not in the intensive care unit.When asked about specific relaxation measures, the majority (62 per cent) believed that catering and cultural institutions could stay open beyond 10pm, followed by keeping sports venues open longer and allowing stadiums, theatres and cinemas to be full once again.Only 18 per cent thought the practice of staying at home and being tested for symptoms should be abolished.If it were up to respondents, this would be the last measure to be repealed.Respondents were also asked whether the lockdown should never be repeated, even if it would result in overloading hospitals and possibly more deaths.Thirty-one percent agreed with that statement, but half could understand the new lockdown in this case.There is also disagreement over the continued adoption of health passes (QR codes).Of those surveyed, 38 percent said the passes should be abolished permanently, while 41 percent said they are still useful.