Rules? We don’t need rules. That seems to be an increasingly common attitude among residents in Britain, one in seven of whom have admitted to breaking lockdown laws to partake in, among other things, private poker games.
The findings were published in The Scottish Sun newspaper after it sought to gauge public opinion on the UK’s coronavirus prevention measures.
With the help of Onepoll, the newspaper questioned 2,013 people about their activities over the past two months. The survey shows that 14% of respondents (one in seven) broke coronavirus-related lockdown rules. Of those, 50% met with friends or relatives, while 26% engaged in “non-essential” travel.
Lockdown Laws Stop Coronavirus, but Not Poker
The UK went into lockdown on March 23 when Prime Minster Boris Johnson ordered Brits to say home and only travel if absolutely necessary. Outdoor exercise was restricted to one hour per day, and working from home (if possible) became mandatory.
The lockdown laws have been effective. Daily coronavirus infection rates have dropped from 8,500+ to under 2,000. With the curve now bending in the right direction, Johnson is easing restrictions. Non-essential shops will reopen from June 1 and small gatherings are now permitted.
Even before the latest changes were announced, however, some Brits were willing to gamble. According to The Scottish Sun’s survey, those who went out more than once per day weren’t observing the two-meter social distancing rule.
As well as inviting hairdressers, beauticians, and childminders into their homes, some people were willing to host poker games while on lockdown.
Gambling on Home Games
Michael, a 24-year-old student, admitted to the newspaper that he’d hosted a poker party at his house, despite knowing the rules.
“We had friends round for a poker night … 15 of us drinking until 4am. The neighbors were suspicious but we said it was just us. It felt a bit wrong,” he told the newspaper.
Although Michael felt guilty about the incident, recent revelations have made him less remorseful. Last week, news broke that a senior advisor to the prime minister, Dominic Cummings, traveled from London to Durham during the lockdown.
It also emerged that Cummings recently made another 50-mile journey for an eye test. The revelations have sparked anger among politicians as well as Brits like locked down poker player, Michael.
Keeping everyone on total lockdown was always going to be an impossible task. Stories of soccer stars breaking the rules have made the headlines in recent weeks, and the latest data shows it’s not just those in the spotlight who have been sneaking out for a few rounds of action.
The isolated incidents don’t appear to have adversely affected the UK’s recovery efforts. The death toll may be higher than desired at 37,837 (at the time of writing), but the number of new cases is falling.
The challenge now will be managing the return to normalcy and, by all accounts, finding a safe way to satisfy the Brits’ love of poker.