Half Of Brits Think Masks, Social Distancing And Other COVID-19 Restrictions Will Continue After July 19

By Rachael Grealish

Brits have little faith in the July 19 ‘Freedom Day’ being all that freeing as a survey shows over half of adults think restrictions will remain in place for months to come.

After Boris Johnson gave the country ‘four more weeks’ for a final push against COVID-19 a new YouGov polling finds that the British public think that the remaining restrictions will not be lifted by the new date of July 19.

According to the survey most people expect rules around facemasks, social distancing and limited capacity in indoor venues to continue for some time to come.

51 percent of Britons are not confident that the remaining coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on the delayed date – with 14 percent ‘not at all confident’ and only six percent ‘very confident’ they will be lifted.

When asked ‘when do Britons think the remaining COVID-19 restrictions are likely to come to an end?’ a third, 31 percent, said they expect to be required to wear a face mask in public indoor settings such as restaurants, shops and gyms into 2022 – with a further seven percent believing that this rule will never be lifted.

Just one in nine (11 percent) anticipate this rule being lifted on the new ‘Freedom Day’ date.

Even if the rule was to be lifted on July 19, the YouGov poll that the majority of the public will continue to be cautious – 50 percent say that they would continue to wear a facemask in shops even when the rule has been lifted.

Although all groups are likely to remain cautious and continue to follow measures even once they are no longer required, this is particularly strong amongst those aged 65 and over.

Three quarters of that group (75 percent) say that they will continue to socially distance, compared to 51 percent of those aged 18-24.

The survey results did show, however, Brits are more optimistic about the capacity limits in public indoor settings being lifted soon, with 17 saying this will happen on 19 July and 60 percent believing that this will happen at some point in 2021.

However, the latest polling deals another blow to the travel industry, with just six percent think the traffic light system will be removed on July 19, and over a third (36 percent) said the system will not be removed until 2022.

Full survey results can be viewed here.