What will Britons miss about lockdown? Less traffic, better hygiene and quiet supermarkets but NOT watching government briefings

While Freedom Day is pushed back another 4 weeks, we look at what Britons will miss about lockdown

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs
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New polling by Ipsos shows that while many will be ready to see the end of lockdown, there are plenty of aspects of lockdown that will be missed. Among the things most likely to be looked back on fondly are people practising better hygiene with two-thirds saying they will miss this at least a fair amount (66%), less traffic on roads at peak times (63%) and quiet shops and supermarkets (59%). 

Over half (53%) will miss spending more time with family, while a quarter (24%) will be not be unhappy to leave it behind. However, people are more enthusiastic about seeing family in real life as opposed to video call, almost half (47% not very much/at all) will not miss speaking to family/ friends more via technology. And despite being fond of the time they’ve spent with their families, half of parents are keen to see the back of home-schooling (50%), while three in ten (28%) will miss it. 

Many will miss the calmness created by lockdown. Half (50%) say they will miss tourist attractions and public places being quiet, whilst 42% will miss quieter public transport.

Those currently employed will miss aspects of their working life during lockdown; 44% will miss being able to work more flexibly, while 40% will miss not having to commute. Almost four in ten (38%) will miss not having to dress smartly for work and around a third (36%) say they’ll miss working from home full time. 

Opinion is split when it comes to socialising again. Four in ten (39%) will miss not having to socialise with other people, while 45% will not miss this. Britons are also divided as to whether they will miss getting to know their neighbours and community better – a third (32%) say they will miss this whilst another three in ten (30%) will not. 

Two in three (67%) will not miss government briefings, whilst around one in five will (18%). Similarly, half (51%) will not miss having to pay more attention to politics and the news.  Three in five (59%) will not miss having to wear face masks, however opinion is more split concerning other measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Forty-four per cent will be pleased to see the end of not greeting people with hugs, kisses or handshakes, against another four in ten (38%) who will miss it.  

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos, said:

We know that there are many things people are looking forward to when the coronavirus restrictions end, including getting proper face time with friends and family. But we’ve also seen that there will be at least some aspects of lockdown that people will miss – again partly the opportunity to spend more time with family (if not home-schooling), but also the peace and quiet, and the reassurance provided by people paying more attention to hygiene.
There are also implications for the future of work, with the opportunity to work flexibly and from home, to dress informally, and cut out the commute clearly appealing to a number of workers.
But there is very clearly one aspect of the pandemic that people won’t miss – and that is the burden of having to pay more attention to politics, the news, and keeping up-to-date with the latest on the virus.  One key aspect of getting back to normal for many Britons will simply be just not having to think about these issues as much any more.

Technical report 

  • Ipsos interviewed a sample of 1,002 adults aged 18-75 in Great Britain using its Ipsos Digital online omnibus between 4th and 7th June 2021. Data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions for age, working status and social grade within gender, government office region and education. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Head of Political Research
  • Cameron Garrett Public Affairs

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