As Monday’s easing of lockdown is well under way in England, what do people actually think about it?

First published in May 2021.

In the last few days, YouGov has asked people around the country specific questions about the pandemic, the lockdown and the new variants. Here is what they told YouGov.

Staying home?

Only 26% of people are looking forward to being able to meeting people indoors with a maximum of six people (or two households) from Monday, and only 24% are looking forward to going to a pub, a restaurant or a bar indoors. People are even less looking forward to going to the cinema (4%), to a museum (2%), a theatre (2%) concert (3%), or visiting a hotel, hostel or B&B (5%).

Variant of concern

People told YouGov that they follow very closely (14%) or fairly closely (41%) the Indian variant story, which demonstrates an obvious concern that this variant might bring yet another wave of infections to the UK. Only one fifth (20%) are aware but not following what is happening with this variant.

Worried about the Indian variant

Although more than two third of people are worried about the variant22% said they are very concerned and 47% that they are somewhat concerned – the UK Government decides to go ahead with Monday’s easing of lockdown restrictions, despite the clear increase of the Indian variant cases in the country.

Too early to let go?

Contrary to what the Government insists on telling us – i.e. that people are eager to get rid of all the COVID-19 restrictions (which are expected to take place next month), the most recent opinion poll shows that more than a third of people (33%) feel it is too soon to end all restrictions. 8% think it is too late, whereas 44% think it is about right.

No holidays this summer

No, people are not planning a holiday this summer. All the talks of tourism in Portugal or in any of the destinations that are planning to accept British tourists this summer are probably only driven by the tourism industry and the government as this opinion poll shows that a massive 71% of people say they have not booked a summer holiday this year. Only 20% admit having booked a holiday in the UK, and 5% booked abroad.

Confirming the previous statement, another opinion poll shows that 74% of people don’t feel confident that they could have a normal summer holiday abroad this year. Surprised? Only 11% have no problem with it.

If most people would probably love to have a holiday this summer (who wouldn’t after the past year of pandemic?), but do they really have the time, the money, and the will to do it, especially with surging variants? 

PMP News reporting.


[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 16 May 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - Dominic Raab and Boris Johnson. | 5 May 2021. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

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