Are Britons flouting the lockdown? A new survey from the UK’s Office for National Statistics, published today, has raised suspicions that some might be. The results suggest a slight increase in movement around the country, and a slight fraying of what we might call “community spirit”.
The number of people saying they had worked from home in the last week fell from 49.2% between 3 and 13 April to 44.6% between 9 and 20 April. That may partly reflect changes in individual company policy rather than people’s attitudes to lockdown, with some high-profile stores, for example, beginning to re-open branches.
The proportion saying they “strongly agreed” that community members would support them during the outbreak fell from 33.6% to 30.9%, while the number who hadn’t checked on neighbours in the past week rose from 26% to 34.5%.
People also seem to be slightly more optimistic about the future: 19.2% now expect their lives to be back to normal in three months or less, up from 17.6%. The proportion saying they expect the general economic situation in the UK to “get a lot worse” over the next year has dropped from 57% to 52.7%.