A new survey by the UK’s leading user-led anxiety charity, Anxiety UK shows that for many people the total lifting of restrictions on July 19th, dubbed “freedom-day” by the media, will leave many feeling anxious.
Of almost 650 respondents, 72% stated they were ‘quite nervous’ about the lifting of all restrictions, with the most common concerns identified being busy shops/shopping centres, 52%, the pressure of socialising generally – 48.8% and using public transport, 38%.
Additionally, more than 30% also had concerns about busy pubs and clubs with18% being worried about heading back to work/the office and 24% stating they were happy with the new routine they had settled into.
When asked about the removal of restrictions regarding the wearing of masks/face coverings and social distancing, the survey revealed that 66% were anxious about this and 22% stated they were ‘a little nervous’ about the relaxing of such restrictions.
Similarly, more than 63% of those who were not exempt from doing so, said they would continue to wear a mask/face covering and would also continue to social distance, while 29% said they would sometimes do so. Less than 5% said they would not wear a mask/face covering or would continue to social distance after the 19th July.
When asked about the vaccination roll out, almost 42% said it helped to reduce their anxiety knowing that a large percentage of people were now fully vaccinated, though 34% said they would be happier when everyone has had their jabs. 19% said it made no difference to them.
A significant majority of respondents – 76%, said they had always lived with anxiety, though 11% stated that the pandemic had been the trigger of their anxiety.
Anxiety UK CEO Nicky Lidbetter said: “Whilst clearly we cannot live our lives locked down indefinitely, we must be mindful that for some people, and in particular, those with anxiety, the path to the ‘new normal’ may be understandably slow and will need to be taken at a pace that suits the individual concerned”.