Most disagree with reopening country in 120 days: poll

Most disagree with reopening country in 120 days: poll

Empty chairs on Patong beach in Phuket may be filled with foreign tourists after the island province reopens next Thursday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Empty chairs on Patong beach in Phuket may be filled with foreign tourists after the island province reopens next Thursday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

A majority of people disagree with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's announcement that the country would be reopened in 120 days amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The poll was conducted by telephone interviews on June 22-25 on 1,311 people aged 15 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country.

Its results were broadly similar to those found by Suan Dusit Poll.

Asked whether they agreed with the announcement, a large majority -- 73.46% -- disagreed. Of them, 53.55% were in total disagreement, reasoning that the country should not risk admitting foreigners while the pandemic was not yet under control, adding that the reopening should be delayed until most people in the country were inoculated; and 19.91% were in moderate disagreement, saying they were not confident in the government's preventive measures.

On the other side, 26.01% agreed -- with 12.43% in total agreement, saying it would spur the economy and revive tourism-related businesses, while 13.58% were in moderate agreement.

The rest, 0.53%, had no answer or were not interested.

Asked whether they believed the government would actually be able to reopen the country in 120 days, a majority -- 71.62% -- said "no"; 27.16% said "yes"; and 1.22% had no answer or were not interested.

Asked whether they were ready to accept the risk of a reopening leading to a more severe outbreak of the virus, and how much they would blame the government if it occurred, 52.56% said they would not accept any risk and the government must take full responsibility, while 11.29% said they would not accept any risk but would not put the blame on the government.

On the other side, 24.56% said they would accept the risk but the government must take total responsibility and 9.00% said they would accept the risk and would not blame the government.

The rest, 2.59%, had no answer or were not interested.

Asked whether they attached more importance to economic survival or health safety, 69.19% picked health safety, 18.99% economic survival and 11.82% said they were equally important.

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