With speculation about how and when lockdown will end, new research shows that the number one priority for Brits after COVID-19 restrictions ease is to give family and friends a hug.
What are you most looking forward to doing when lockdown eases?
|Rank||Priority||%||Earliest Potential Release Date from Lockdown, According to Roadmap||Countdown (as of 01/03)|
|1||Hug family or friends||30.75%||17 May||77 days|
|2||Go on holiday – Europe||12.62%||17 May||77 days|
|3||Go on holiday – UK||11.92%||12 April (1 household only)||42 days|
|4||Not looking forward to anything in particular||9.89%||n/a||n/a|
|5||Go to a restaurant||8.35%||17 May||77 days|
|6||Go to a pub or bar||7.15%||12 April (outside) or 17 May (inside)||42 days (outside)|
77 days (inside)
|7||Go shopping||6.61%||12 April||42 days|
|8||Go to a music festival or gig||4.77%||21 June||112 days|
|9||Children going back to school||4.52%||8 March||7 days|
|10||Other (please state)||3.43%||n/a||n/a|
Nearly a third of people said hugging a loved one is the thing they are most looking forward to, compared to only 7% who want to head to a pub or bar, and 6.6% who want to go shopping.
A quarter of people are looking forward to going on holiday, with 12% hoping to go on a UK break and 13% wanting to travel to Europe. Other top activities respondents said they are looking forward to doing include going to a restaurant (8.4%), children going back to school (4.5%), and heading to a music festival or gig (4.8%). Additional responses included going to the gym, a trip to the hairdressers, and visiting elderly relatives.
The research, which questioned 2,013 people and was carried out by Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists as part of its We See You Community Champion Awards, found over half (55%) of people want to be more spontaneous and experience more things in life once lockdown is over. Almost two-thirds (60%) stated they now value experiences more than materialistic objects and a further two-thirds said the pandemic has made them appreciate spending time with family and friends more.
According to the research, the pandemic has been a period of reflection for many, with over a third (34%) revaluating their career plans and aspirations, and 37% wanting to make changes to their relationships. For some, it’s also made them more charitable with a fifth volunteering to support charities during the lockdown and over a quarter (26%) donating more money to good causes compared to before lockdown. Two-fifths said they have noticed a greater level of community spirit in their local area, and half have seen people act kinder.
Commenting, director of marketing and communications at Bayfields Opticians & Audiologists said: ‘The last 11 months have been a struggle for us all, but through the difficulties we’ve all faced there have been some wonderful acts of kindness and, for many people, it’s made them realise what’s most important to them. We carried out this research to see how the pandemic has impacted people’s outlook on life, and it’s touching to see how it’s the little things that we once took for granted – hugging and spending time with loved ones – that we’ve missed the most.
‘With 22 local practices across the UK, we work hard to integrate into these local communities, and we’ve seen first-hand just how much people have gone out of their way to help each other and show kindness during the pandemic. With spring around the corner, many of us are looking ahead to more positive times, but hopefully, we can continue to show appreciation to those special people and experiences in our lives.’
The Bayfields’ We See You Community Champions Awards celebrates heroes who have gone out of their way to support people in their local area during the pandemic. Whether it’s a local teacher, fundraiser, volunteer, NHS worker or delivery driver, people can nominate their Community Champions via the website.