The UK is now approaching the final stages of the Government’s coronavirus exit strategy as pubs and restaurants reopen on July 4. With the lockdown measures continuing to be loosened, a new survey has revealed 42 percent of those aged 18 to 24 are now paying less attention to social distancing measures. Over a third (35 percent) of those aged 25 to 34 also agreed they were now paying less attention to the measures.
In the poll conducted by Populus for communications consultancy network, the Zinc Network, 26 percent of the public agreed they now paid less attention to the measures put in place at the beginning of the pandemic.
Louis Brooke, executive director at Zinc Network said: “These findings show a nation divided on age, income and regional lines on attitudes to the lockdown.
“Young people, those on higher incomes and those living in London say they are already paying significantly less attention to social distancing guidelines.
“The polling underlines the complexity of the challenge the Government faces as it continues to ease the lockdown at this critical stage in the pandemic.”
The poll also showed more high earners than low earners, 34 to 22 percent respectively, now agreed they paid less attention to lockdown measure than before.
A further 57 percent of high earners also believed it was now time to ease lockdown restrictions.
Although the public believes it is now time ease measures, experts have warned the UK must prepare for a second wave to strike in the winter.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, health leaders said: “While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk.
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A list of 36 cities and regions has now been drawn up which have stated above-average numbers.
Leicester recorded 135.7 confirmed cases per 100,000 people in the week ending on June 28.
Barnsley, Rochdale and Bradford have all been highlighted as potential coronavirus hotpots.
A Government source said: “We’re monitoring the situation hour by hour and won’t hesitate to lockdown other places if necessary.
“People must be sensible and observe social distancing rules or their home town or city could be next.”
As well as further shops reopening, from July 4 Britons will also be able to meet in groups of up to two households.
Social distancing measures still remain, however, and if not possible, a one metre plus space must be kept when indoors.
At the time of writing, the UK has reported 43,906 deaths of COVID-19 with a further 313,483 cases.