LONDON (Reuters) – People across almost all the world’s leading rich economies have turned more sceptical about their governments’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic with confidence slumping the most in Britain, a survey showed on Thursday.
In May, in the Group of Seven nations as a whole, 48% of respondents approved of how authorities had handled the pandemic, down from 50% in April and 54% in March, the survey published by polling firm Kantar showed.
Britain saw the biggest drop – a sharp fall of 18 points from April to 51% – while in the United States, Canada, Germany, France and Italy, the declines ranged between two and six points. Japan was the only country to show an increase.
Britain’s COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 50,000, according to a Reuters tally, making the country one of the worst hit in the world by the pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also struggled to contain the fallout from a decision by his top advisor Dominic Cummings to undertake a long road trip to get family help at the height of the coronavirus lockdown when COVID-19 hit his household.
Kantar said 50% of respondents across the G7 said they trusted their government to make the right decisions about the pandemic in the future, down four points from April.
Just over half said they would use a contact-tracing app to help to prevent a new wave of infections. Almost two-thirds of those who said they would not use it cited privacy concerns.
One in three people felt uncomfortable about returning to their workplace, a similar number said they would work at home more than before the crisis and about four in 10 said they would visit restaurants, cafes, pubs and cinemas less than before.
The survey of 7,012 people was conducted between May 28 and June 1.
(Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Stephen Addison)