Most Britons support changing rules to allow vaccinated people to mix indoors

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
May 06, 2021, 9:00 AM GMT+0

Around two in five people admit that they have already started socialising indoors

It is currently illegal for two fully vaccinated people from different homes to mix indoors, despite England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam saying that such a meeting would be “incredibly safe”.

New YouGov data shows close to two thirds of Britons would support changing the rules (including 19% who would strongly support doing so), despite concerns that it would create issues around fairness and policing. Only a quarter are opposed (including 6% who are strongly opposed).

Among people who have had two jabs against coronavirus, seven in ten (69%) are supportive, compared with 61% of people who are not vaccinated. But a higher number of the latter group strongly support a rule change, at 24% vs 16% of fully vaccinated people.

Indoor meet-ups are now allowed again in Wales, and restrictions will be lifted on 17 May in England and Scotland, and 24 May in Northern Ireland – but limits on numbers will remain until June.

Most people insist they’re following the rules closely, but many are already socialising indoors again

Nine in ten people insist they’re following the rules very (46%) or fairly (44%) closely, while only 8% admit to not doing so, including 3% who say they’re not following them at all.

Younger people tend to be more lax, with only a quarter of 18-24 year olds (24%) following the restrictions very closely, although half (51%) still say they’re following them fairly well. In contrast, three in five people aged 65+ (59%) say they follow the rules to very closely, while 37% are fairly compliant.

The difference across age groups is also clear when comparing unvaccinated people with those who have already had the jab. A third of those who’ve not been jabbed (32%) are following the rules very closely, compared with half of vaccinated adults (52%), who tend to be older.

Despite nearly all Britons saying they’re following the rules, two in five admit that they have been socialising indoors. This includes three in ten (30%) who insist it was only once or twice, while one in eight (13%) say it has happened more than three times.

While younger people are less likely to say they’ve followed the rules completely, how often they’ve socialised indoors is similar to other age groups. One in six people aged 18-24 (16%) have mixed indoors three times or more, while the figure is lowest among 50-64 year olds, at 11%.

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