Coronaphobia is BACK: Anxiety about virus hits highest level since MAY

Coronaphobia is BACK: Anxiety about virus hits highest level since MAY as a third of population is put under local lockdowns, people shun meeting indoors and working from home surges

Coronaphobia is well and truly back among Britons as cases surge and restrictions are ramped up, research revealed today.

Anxiety about the disease has hit the highest level since May as the government scrambles to get rising infections under control – with a third of the population now under local lockdowns.

Three-quarters are now either very or somewhat worried about the impact of the disease on their lives. 

Meanwhile, the public is increasingly shunning meeting indoors, and the proportion working from home has spiked.

The trends were highlighted in the latest social indicators published by the Office for National Statistics this morning, which surveyed people across Britain from September 24 to 27.

Three-quarters are now either very or somewhat worried about the impact of the disease on their lives, according to the latest ONS indicators

It found levels of socialising, eating out and travel slumped after rises during the summer.

Just 20 per cent of adults said they had met another household in a private place, down from 30 per cent the previous week.

After lockdown restrictions were imposed across swathes of the North, 37 per cent in areas subject to extra curbs said they had not met anyone outside their own household.

In places where the lockdown has not been ramped up beyond the Rule of Six, the figure was still 22 per cent.

Eight in 10 said they had ‘always or often’ maintained social distancing when they met other people. 

The proportion travelling to workplaces slipped from 64 per cent to 59 per cent, after the government’s guidance shifted to recommend doing it where possible.

And anxiety levels were heading upwards again. Some 74 per cent were very or somewhat worried about the effect of coronavirus on their lives, the highest since restrictions started easing in May.   

A separate poll will raise alarm bells for Boris Johnson, suggesting that a chunk of the public blames the surge in infections on his decisions. 

The YouGov research found 46 per cent thought it had been wrong to allow pubs to reopen – although 41 per cent said it was the right move. 

Britons also tended to believe that allowing students to return to universities was the wrong thing to do, with 45 per cent voicing that opinion against 40 per cent who backed it. 

Just 20 per cent of adults said they had met another household in a private place last week, down from 30 per cent the previous week

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