71% of Belgians favour new lockdown if virus surges again

71% of Belgians favour new lockdown if virus surges again
© Belga

A majority of Belgians said they are ready to undergo a second lockdown if Belgium is hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey shows.

Out of some 2,500 people surveyed by Francophone and Flemish newspapers, 71% said they would be favourable to a new lockdown.

In all three regions of Belgium, more than half of people surveyed said they would accept a return to lockdown if necessary, 7sur7 reports.

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Respondents in Flanders were less favourable (66%) to the measure than those in Brussels and Wallonia (75% and 78%, respectively).

The papers grouped respondents by political affiliation and found greater support for a lockdown among supporters of the Francophone greens (Écolo) and socialists (PS) than among the electorate of far-right party Vlaams Belang and of the Flemish nationalist N-VA.

The survey also found that more than half of participants had intentions to change their habits in the aftermath of the pandemic.

More than half said they would attend fewer mass events like concerts and festivals as well as sporting events, even after they were allowed again.

A whopping 58% declared they would fly less often and 53% said they would use public transport less, while over 40% said they would eat at restaurants less often and avoid public places.

In Flanders, the survey was conducted by HLN and VTM Nieuws while RTL and Le Soir polled respondents in the Francophone half of Belgium. Overall, 2,517 residents in Belgium over the age of 18 took part in the survey.

The results come as Belgium pushes forward with measures to lift the lockdown and coincides with warnings from the World Health Organisations for countries to remain alert to the virus, which, according to the globe's top health authority, continued to spread rapidly throughout the world.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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