Two thirds of Brits think some restrictions should remain after 19 July

Public opinion research also finds a majority who want the wearing of face masks to continue, and some positive signs on perceived job security.
15 July 2021
Woman wearing face mask going down an escalator on the tube
Luke Taylor

Head of Opinion Polling, Public Division, UK

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Kantar Public’s latest research into British public opinion and voting intentions finds that there is an increasing proportion in Britain who think the COVID-19 restrictions are being adjusted too quickly, and a majority who want the wearing of face masks to continue in shops and on public transport.

Other key findings from Kantar Public research, which took place between 7 and 12 July, reveals:

  • Two thirds of people (66%) think we should keep at least some (some/most/all) of the existing restrictions after 19 July – made up of 36% who think we should keep some existing restrictions for a further period, 17% who think we should keep most existing restrictions for a further time, and 13% who think we should keep all existing restrictions for a further period of time.
  • About three in ten (29%) think “we need to learn to live with COVID-19 without any restrictions”.
  • Six in ten (60%) think everyone should continue to wear face masks in shops and on public transport for a further time.
  • A growing proportion think that the pace at which the government is adjusting restrictions to everyday life is much/a bit too fast: 41% compared to 29% in June.
  • 39% (+4) think the government are placing too much emphasis on protecting the country’s economy and not enough on protecting people’s health, compared to 18% (+2) who think there is too much emphasis on health. 27% think they have got the balance about right (-6).

Household economic impacts

This month’s research finds a growing proportion of those in work who say their job feels safer than it did 12 months ago, with 21% saying so, compared to 17% in June. This is the highest figure since the pandemic began. Other findings include:

  • Of those working, 21% say their job feels less safe that 12 months ago (-6), which is the lowest figure since September 2019. 46% say much the same (-4).
  • 6 in 10 (60%, -1) now say that their personal income “has not been impacted” by coronavirus, compared to 56% in March, 54% in February and 49% in January. 
  • 28% (-1) say it is harder for them to meet their monthly household budget than it was 12 months ago.
  • 37% (-1) of Britons think the economy will be doing better in 12 months’ time than it is now.

When asked about the impact of the pandemic on personal savings, there is a mixed picture in Britain. One in four (24%, -1) say their savings have decreased since the start of the pandemic, 41% (+4) say they have stayed the same, and 20% (-1) say their savings have increased.

Of the people who saved extra money, only 11% (+8) of them intend to spend it all by the end of the year. 63% (+3) who have saved extra money say that they will only spend “some of it” or “none at all” this year.

Attitudes towards COVID-19 restrictions and actions to tackle the pandemic

When asked about the COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Three quarters of people (76%, -3) say they are very/somewhat satisfied with the vaccine rollout organised by government and health authorities.
  • 51% (+2) think that vaccines should be compulsory for all adults, compared to 39% who think adults should be allowed to choose (-3).
  • 62% (-3) of people strongly/tend to support the introduction of a vaccine passport to allow overseas travels into and out of the UK this summer, whilst 23% (no change) oppose the idea.

About half of Britons think that the government are handling the pandemic well:

  • 49% of people (+2) say they think the government have handled the pandemic very/fairly well. 45% say very/fairly poorly (no change).
  • 39% rate the cooperation between countries to distribute COVID-19 vaccines as very/fairly good, compared to 45% who say fairly/very poor.

A growing proportion think that the adjustments to the restrictions are changing too fast:

  • 41% of people think the pace at which the government is adjusting the restrictions to everyday life is much/a bit too fast (+12) compared to one in three (33%, -9 vs June) who think it is ‘about right’.
  • 35% think people should be able to decide for themselves whether to wear masks in shops and on public transport (vs 60% who think everyone should wear in shops and public transport for further period).

Voting intentions

  • Con 44% (-1 vs June 2021)
  • Lab 31% (-1)
  • L Dem 12% (+4)
  • SNP 6% (+2)
  • Green 4% (-2)
  • Reform UK (formerly Brexit Party) 1% (-1)
  • Plaid Cymru 1% (nc)
  • UKIP <1% (-1)
  • Other 1% (nc)

Methodological information

The survey data and further details on the methodological approach can be found here. A total of 1,057 interviews were conducted online among adults living in Great Britain between 7 and 12 July 2021. All interviews were conducted online using the Kantar Research Express. The Kantar online access panel was the main sample source.

The data was weighted to match population totals for age, gender, 2019 General Election voting patterns, 2016 EU referendum voting patterns, education, region, and likelihood to vote in the next General Election. Any use of this research must cite Kantar as the source.

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