Poll reveals the biggest concern people living in Britain have about coronavirus

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Nearly two thirds of adults reported the lack of freedom and independence they feel they have as a concern. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Britons are most commonly concerned about their “lack of freedom and independence” in the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

The Office for National Statistics found it was the most frequent worry, with almost two in three adults (65%) surveyed in Great Britain saying it affected them.

The government introduced huge restrictions on liberties in March to try and slow the coronavirus’s spread, though restrictions vary in each of the UK’s four nations, with England and Northern Ireland easing up slightly.

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The concern about freedom tallies with another frequently listed concern, with 54% of adults saying their inability to make plans was a worry.

The ONS figures, published on Friday as part of its research into the coronavirus’s social impact on Great Britain, also show more people think that restrictions will be in place for longer.

Now, a quarter of people think it will take more than a year before normal life resumes, compared to just one in 10 (11%) who thought that in the first week of lockdown.

Over one in five adults (21%) think they have become more concerned about climate change because of the pandemic, while three in five (60%) said their concern remained the same.

The data also shows 45% of men and women expressing concern about their jobs.

The most common impacts for men were being furloughed, being asked to work from home or getting reduced hours.

Women were also most commonly affected by being furloughed but also said they were more likely to find working at home difficult and be concerned for their health and safety at work.

The ONS figures also suggest that women are more concerned than men about the impact the outbreak of COVID-19 has had on their lives.

The research was carried out from 995 people who responded for the survey, which was conducted from 14 to 17 May 2020.

Results are weighted to be representative of Great Britain.

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