Published On: Wed, May 13th, 2020

Coronavirus poll: With coronaphobia on rise, will you make most of lockdown easing today? | UK | News


The changes come into force today in line with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech on Sunday. A 50-page document published on Monday explained the new rules in more detail, lifting limits on time spent outdoors, and permitting people to meet on other person from a different household.

Social distancing guidelines remain in force, and many restrictions remain – for example, there is a ban on visiting friends and family in their homes, and on gathering in groups of more than two, excluding members of the same household.

Nevertheless, there is considerable evidence suggesting people in the UK are likely to be extremely wary of emerging from lockdown

A poll published at the start of the month by Ipsos MORI revealed 67 per cent of respondents said they would feel uncomfortable going to large public gatherings, such as sports or music events, compared to how they felt prior to the pandemic.

Lockdown

Will you be making the most of the eased lockdown restrictions? (Image: GETTY)

In addition, 61 percent felt uncomfortable at the prospect of using public transport, while just 29 percent would be happy to visited bars and restaurants once they reopen.

A separate poll published by YouGov last Thursday further indicated the UK was in no particularly hurry for the rules to change.

More than four-fifths (82 percent) said they would find it easy to cope if the lockdown remained in force until June, and more than three-fifths (63 percent) had no problem if it was not lifted until July.

Golf clubs coronavirus

Golfers are also permitted to return to the course (Image: GETTY)

Yet more research, also by YouGov, revealed widespread confusion about the Government’s updated slogan, Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives, with just 30 percent clear about what it actually required people to do.

By contrast, 91 percent understood what was meant by its predecessor, Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

Speaking about Ipsos MORI’s poll, Keiran Pedley, Research Director, said: “The public are looking forward to seeing family members again in person and a clear majority are comfortable doing so.

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Tube London

Polling has suggested large numbers of people would be wary of using public transport (Image: GETTY)

Garden centres coronavirus

Garden centres are now permitted to reopen (Image: GETTY)

“However, there is clear unease at other consequences of the lockdown ending. In particular, clear majorities of Britons are nervous about using public transport again or going to bars, restaurants or live music and sporting events.

“These numbers suggest that it will take some time for parts of the British economy to return to any semblance of normality, even after lockdown has ended.”

Matt Smith, Research Manager at YouGov, added: “Despite almost everyone being stuck inside their homes for over six weeks now, most Britons think they could still cope for a little longer yet.

The three proposed lockdown easing stages

The three proposed lockdown easing stages (Image: Daily Express)

“Polling already indicates that Brits have concerns about the lockdown being lifted and this new research shows that the public think they have it in them to last until at least July, even if lockdown is extended under current conditions.

“As it stands, August looks to be the month where Brits’ durability will start to fade away but if a future extension coincides with some relaxation of measures, we might see the public stomaching a revised lockdown further into the year.”

With the lockdown in full force last month, Professor Tony Travers of LSE London hinted at the possibility of “coronaphobia”, telling Express.co.uk: “Many people have been convinced by the Government to stay home because of the dangers leaving home presents both to them and to the NHS.

Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: GETTY)

“How many of them are really going to want to send their children to schools to go out and mingle with people after this

“We’ll only find out when we get there.

“But I suspect a lot of people are going to be mildly traumatised by this and are not going to be willing suddenly to rush out again.”



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