Brits remain cautious although restrictions are eased

By Swindon Link - 17 August 2021


It has nearly been a month since ‘Freedom Day’ but plenty of the UK population still remain cautious with hugs, handshakes and high-fives according to recent research.

Life insurance brokers Reassured have analysed recent data on the attitudes towards Covid-19 safety measures, they found that most Brits are still cautious about physical contact with those outside of their household or bubble, with 66% of people stating they had been avoiding hugging, high-fives and shaking hands with anyone even now they are permitted to do so.

Although people may still be cautious of physical contact, are they still handwashing and social distancing?

A quarter of Brits are still social distancing

Social distancing was at its highest in January and February, but it has been declining since the winter months. In May 59% of people were ‘always’ social distancing, while that reduced to 44% in June and in the last week of July it had reduced even further to 25%. As restrictions are now fully lifted, social distancing is expected to continue to decrease among Brits.

Over 70s are the most cautious age group with 37% of them still always social distancing, while only 10% of 16 to 29 year olds are constantly social distancing and only 23% of 30 to 49 year olds.

Handwashing here to stay

Ever since the start of the pandemic, there has been a great focus on ensuring we wash our hands and this is set to continue. 84% of people are still regularly washing their hands as a Covid-19 safety measure. Women are more likely to wash their hands, with 67% of women ‘always’ washing their hands in the last seven days, while only 55% of men are.

Interestingly, less than half (49%) of 16 to 29 year olds are ‘always’ washing their hands, while 67% of those aged 70+ are ‘always’ washing their hands. 

Phil Jeynes, Director of Corporate Sales at Reassured commented:

“With restrictions in England finally lifted, many people will be excited to return to some sense of normality, whether that’s being able to attend large events or just gather with friends and family without the need to keep a social distance.

“But our analysis shows that some aspects of Covid-19 safety measures may continue for several more weeks or months, with many choosing to carry on with these - particularly more regular handwashing.

“In addition, with Brits still avoiding physical contact when they leave the house, we are unlikely to see an immediate return to normal life, regardless of whether restrictions are in place or not.”

People will react different to life outside of restrictions and should do it at their own pace. There is still 18% of people that are uncomfortable leaving the house due to Covid-19, but people are gaining more confidence since restrictions have opened.

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