Monday 26 April 2021 10:56 am

Covid Karens: More than half of older Brits now breaking lockdown rules

After more than a year of coronavirus lockdowns, it is no surprise that willingness among Brits to stick to the rules is starting to fade.

But new figures suggest lockdown fatigue is more prevalent among older Brits, with compliance among those aged 55 to 75 dropping off at the fastest rate.

The number of people in this age bracket following the rules completely has fallen from 58 per cent in January to just 40 per cent now, according to a survey by Ipsos Mori.

The decline, which means more than half of older Brits are now breaking the rules in some way, could be related to the successful rollout of the vaccine.

However, his age group is still more likely to stick to the restrictions than younger generations.

Across the entire population the number of Brits who said they were following the rules completely has fallen from just under half in January to just over a third now.

A further third said they were following the rules nearly all the time, while 21 per cent are sticking to restrictions half or most of the time. Just six per cent are following rules less than half the time or hardly at all.

The figures show claimed adherence to the rules has dropped from a peak during the nationwide lockdown in January to the levels seen last autumn.

A return to ‘normality’

The survey also showed rising confidence among Brits about returning to normal life once lockdown restrictions lift completely.

More than three-quarters said they were comfortable meeting friends and family from other households, while two-thirds said they were happy shopping in supermarkets and other retail sites.

Six in 10 workers said they will feel comfortable returning to work, with 16 per cent saying they were already back in the office as usual.

A majority of Brits said they will be happy going to the hairdressers and taking a holiday in the UK. Roughly half were ready to visit indoor museums and exhibitions and go to bars and restaurants.

Indoor cinemas, theatres, gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres continue to split opinions, however. 

Just under 40 per cent would feel comfortable going to cinemas and theatres as they did before the pandemic hit, 42 per cent would not. Three in 10 would be happy to visit an indoor gym, pool or leisure centre while 36 per cent feel the opposite way.

“The success of the programme to bring down Covid infections, and the accompanying easing of restrictions, is clearly having an impact on the public mood,” said Gideon Skinner, head of political research at Ipsos Mori.

“But this comes with a risk — the proportion of people who say they are completely following the government’s rules has fallen since its peak in January, especially among older age groups.  The vast majority still say they are mostly following the rules, but the government will want to watch this closely to ensure that this emerging optimism can be sustained.”