Almost four in 10 adults say they will avoid crowded areas post-pandemic – ONS

Luke Powell, PA
·2-min read

More than a third of adults will continue to avoid crowded places once the Covid-19 pandemic is over, new figures suggest.

Some 38% of people in the UK said they were more likely to avoid crowds in the future than they were before the pandemic began, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Three in 10 people (33%) said they would continue to shop online more frequently for non-grocery items.

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A further 23% said they were more likely to avoid public transport, and almost three in 10 working adults (29%) said they would continue to do their jobs from home more often.

The figures come from the ONS’ Opinions and Lifestyle Survey which asked people aged 16 and over what activities they had done more frequently during the pandemic and which ones they would continue to do when it ends.

Some 71% of people in the UK said they had avoided crowded places more often than normal during the pandemic, with 44% of those aged 50 to 69 saying they were more likely to continue doing so in the future, compared with 27% of 16 to 29-year-olds.

Almost half of working adults (45%) said they had been doing their jobs from home over the past year, while 48% said they had avoided public transport.

Cutting hair
Just 8% of people say they are more likely to continue cutting their hair at home (Ben Birchall/PA)

The one aspect of pandemic life that is unlikely to continue is the so-called “lockdown haircut”, with just 8% of people saying they were more likely to cut their hair at home in the future.

Video calls to family and friends also proved popular over the past year, with almost six in 10 adults (57%) saying it was an activity they were doing more often.

However, only 29% overall said they would continue to use the feature in the future, rising slightly to 34% among the 16 to 29 age group.

About three in 10 people (32%) switched to online food shopping, while 54% used the internet to purchase other goods more frequently during the pandemic.

But only 21% of adults said they would continue to shop online for groceries more often than normal in the future.

The statistics are based on the responses to a survey of 4,524 adults in Great Britain conducted between March 10 and 14.