Two thirds of Brits fear going back to sports games or concerts – even if lockdown lifted, poll reveals


Compared to how they felt before the lockdown, just one in six said they would feel “comfortable” going to such an event, in a sign the Government’s ‘stay at home’ message has worked.

Many Brits are worried about going out to public gatherings or to the pub – even after the lockdown is lifted

IPSOS Mori’s research showed that Brits feel most uncomfortable about large gatherings, followed by using public transport and going to bars and restaurants.

They feel least worried about going to see family and friends after restrictions are lifted, followed by shopping in supermarkets.

Brits are fairly evenly split on the issue of sending kids back to school.

48 per cent were concerned, but 41 per cent would be comfortable doing so.

Young people are most at ease with going to bars and restaurants, and are most willing to head to large public gatherings.

Keiran Pedley, Research Director at Ipsos MORI said: “The public are looking forward to seeing family members again in person and a clear majority are comfortable doing so.

“However, there is clear unease at other consequences of the lockdown ending. In particular, clear majorities of Britons are nervous about using public transport again or going to bars, restaurants or live music and sporting events.

“These numbers suggest that it will take some time for parts of the British economy to return to any semblance of normality, even after lockdown has ended.”

Meanwhile, frantic work is underway in Government about how to lift any measures – and when to do it.

Boris Johnson announced last night he would be setting out a roadmap next week with a series of options.

But he couldn’t say when any of the measures could be changed.

The PM said his plans would involve how to get kids back to school, Brits back to work, and opening up the economy once again.

There are possible plans for workplaces to have staggered start times, for kids to come back in stages, and for certain shops to reopen again.

But nothing is yet set in stone.

Experts have warned that they must keep the rate of transmission below one to keep the virus under control.

Professor Chris Whitty said last night the R rate – rate of reproduction – was between 0.6 and 0.9 – giving little wiggle room for tweaks.

Anything above one risks passing it on to too many people and the virus spreading out of control once again.

Downing Street aides said only tweaks “at best” should be expected at the next lockdown review on May 7. Large elements could continue into June and beyond.

Pubs and restaurants are likely to be among the last things to reopen, along with big public gatherings.

Michael Gove didn’t rule out them staying shut until Christmas, earlier this month.

Pub industry insiders fear staying closed until the end of the year could kill off a huge number of Britain’s 48,349 locals.

Wetherspoons suggested it could start reopening around June, but they would need permission from the Government to do so first.

Doing it beforehand would risk breaking coronavirus laws which politicians passed back in March.

While the current death toll stands at 26,771, it was still well below the worst-case scenario of 500,000, the PM argued last night.

He said Britain has to keep going and stick with the lockdown to try and get the numbers down as low as possible.

Ministers think that track and trace and increased testing will only work when the virus is down at very low levels among the population.