Three in five public transport users will feel uncomfortable using it after England’s bonfire of restrictions today, a poll warns.
Some 30% of people told YouGov they felt “very uncomfortable” using buses and trains after restrictions on masks and social distancing end. Another 29% were “fairly uncomfortable”, the poll found.
Almost three-quarters (73%) of people who went to nightclubs pre-pandemic said they feel uncomfortable returning, with 51% very uncomfortable.
Some 59% were uncomfortable returning to a large indoor event like a concert, and 41% are uncomfortable about large outdoor events like sports fixtures.
More than a third (35%) are uncomfortable with the idea of going to a wedding while 47% will be uncomfortable at gyms and 43% at cinemas as restrictions lift.
But only 28% will be uncomfortable in coffee shops or high street shops, 27% are uncomfortable in supermarkets and 15% uncomfortable in pub gardens.
YouGov surveyed 3,659 English adults between July 5-15 – but then excluded people who didn’t ordinarily attend each setting before the pandemic.
Eir Nolsoe, Data Journalist at YouGov, said the research “shows the public aren’t completely on board yet” with the idea of ‘Freedom Day’ in England.
She added: “English consumers’ confidence in returning has fallen over the last few months – from previous highs in May – just when they were hoping to get back to normal.
“We’ve seen over the last weeks a debate over where the public are expected to keep their masks on after today.
“But previous polling has shown that the public believes masks should continue to be mandatory for some time in places like shops and on public transport.
“And while some businesses and transport operators will continue to encourage the wearing of them, getting consumers to feel like they can return risk-free, at a time when cases are rising and there are numerous calls to halt unlocking, could be the next obstacle on the road to economic recovery.”
People in England will be “expected and recommended” to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces from today, but the legal requirement has been dropped.
London’s public transport, the Tyne and Wear Metro and Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester have all made masks a condition of travel.
But a string of English mayors have demanded Boris Johnson U-turn and make masks on public transport compulsory across the whole of England.
Air purification firm MedicAir claimed 9.5million people will continue wearing masks at all times in public places even after today’s rule changes.