September 18, 2020

Seven in ten Brits scared of a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19

Simon Cereda, Senior Consultant
Perhaps unsurprisingly the level of worry gets higher the older you get, with eight in ten (80%) of those aged 65+ at least quite scared

Talks of a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 spreading across the UK during the winter months have been happening since the start of the first wave back in March.

That said, the country collectively put any thoughts of a second surge aside for the summer, after being encouraged by the government to eat out in restaurants, spend money in shops and drink with friends in the local pub. Even international travel was allowed – and many jumped at the chance to escape the rut that had become Britain during lockdown.

Now, with stark reports that the entire North East of England has been subject to new local lockdown restrictions, affecting approximately 10 million people in the UK, the possibility of a ‘second wave’ is back and front of mind for many.

Seven in ten (70%) Brits are scared of a ‘second wave’ taking place – with a quarter (23%) of those defining themselves as ‘extremely’ scared. Though there have been rumours that men are actually affected worse by coronavirus, interestingly women are 10pts more likely to be extremely scared than men are (28% vs 18%).

Perhaps unsurprisingly the level of worry gets higher the older you get, with eight in ten (80%) of those aged 65+ at least quite scared, compared to 60% of those aged 25-34 and even less among 18-24s (52%).

Who do the public feel would be most to blame for a ‘second wave’?

We asked the public to choose who or what they would consider to be most at blame for a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus between two potential options within three different scenarios.
When it comes to the government, it’s a standoff between their policies (37%) and the general communications strategy around them (36%), with no specific option dramatically standing out as more detrimental.

Holiday-wise, the public are far more likely to pin the blame on international holiday makers (59%) who took trips abroad throughout the lockdown period than on those who opted to travel within the country during the same period of time (20%).

When it comes to hanging out with friends and family, the nation is more likely to be lenient towards those who have socialised legally (e.g. in a pub) than those who have socialised illegally, for example at a house party (19% vs 69%).


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