Under 50 Percent of Brits 'Very Concerned' About Coronavirus' Impact on the Country, Poll Finds

The British public is less concerned about the risks posed by coronavirus than they previously were, with under half "very concerned" about the fate of the U.K. as a whole, a survey has found.

The poll, conducted by Ipsos MORI, shows a fall from 63 percent down to 49 percent in those who are "very concerned" about the impact of COVID-19 across the United Kingdom.

The number of people who are concerned at all has fallen from around three quarters (78 percent) at the end of March to 69 percent, according to the survey.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had already predicted that the economy could shrink by as much as 35 percent in spring. Barclays' chief executive Jes Staley has said that the impact could be even more severe, with the economy being cut in half.

The U.K. has been in lockdown since March 23 and is not expected to end for at least another four weeks. The length of people being stuck at home has led to something called "lockdown fatigue," where people are increasingly flouting guidance and laws to stay at home.

With the daily rate of those in hospital with COVID-19 symptoms showing a sustained fall, this survey shows that people are less concerned too about their personal welfare.

They are next to be reviewed on May 7 but some experts are claiming that lockdown by itself isn't the cause of the slowing of cases but the previous methods of handwashing and social distancing.

Man wears face mask walking through Westminster
People are becoming less worried about the impact of COVID-19

This has led to some thinking that the risk is lower than they previously thought. Fewer than half (48 percent) of 18-24 year olds are concerned about their personal welfare, with 17 percent very concerned.

The total population "very concerned" for their personal welfare fell from 36 percent to 28 percent over the month of April.

The U.K. government is keen to stress that current measures will not be eased if it allowed a "second spike" of cases and the virus to spread "in an exponential way."

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "We are not going to gamble those sacrifices away by taking steps that will lead to an exponential growth in the disease again."

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,066 British adults aged 18-75 online between April 24th and 27th 2020. Data are weighted to the profile of the population.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.