COVID-19: Are Brits comfortable with UK days out?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
August 11, 2020, 2:28 PM UTC

YouGov CultureIndex shows that social distancing, hand-cleaning facilities, and mandatory masks are the most popular measures venues can take to make visitors feel comfortable again

With many parks, attractions and other venues starting to reopen following the COVID-19 lockdown, YouGov’s CultureIndex explores just how comfortable Britons feel returning after three months on strict lockdown. As well as just what concerns them ahead of a visit and what venue managers could do to make visitors feel safer when visiting.

When asked how they felt about returning to certain attractions, most Brits (80%) say they feel comfortable returning to outdoor attractions such as parks and gardens – and over a third (37%) would feel very comfortable doing so.

Another two thirds (66%) of Brits say they would feel comfortable returning to heritage attractions, such as Hampton Court.

It’s not as a simple as outdoor events being seen as more comfortable by Brits however, with 63% also being uncomfortable attending an outdoor concert.

On the flipside, over half (57%) are also comfortable visiting museums to some extent, and a similar amount of Brits (54%) also feel comfortable visiting art galleries – both of which are usually indoors.

However, for the rest of the venue types YouGov CultureIndex looks at, the majority of Brits are uncomfortable, including 62% who are uncomfortable with visiting the cinema – 30% of whom would be very uncomfortable doing so. Another 64% are not comfortable about visiting the theatre, with another 33% very uncomfortable with the idea.

What about venues makes potential visitors concerned?

YouGov CultureIndex also asked adults what would make them concerned ahead of visiting an attraction or venue, and the biggest concern of Brits is whether they will be able to adhere to social distancing rules when visiting (71%).

Approaching two thirds (63%) of adults would also be concerned about the number of other visitors at an attraction, and 62% say hygiene (including sanitation of seats and catering equipment) would be among their main concerns.

Other concerns include long queues (53%), being able to socially distance on the way to the event (45%) and the potential for future COVID-19 outbreaks (44%).

Taking this into consideration with how comfortable Brits feel at certain venues suggests that being sat down for long periods indoors is a driving factor in making Brits uncomfortable. However, indoor venues such as museums and art galleries do not seem to suffer this concern, possibly as adults are free to walk around and do not need to remain seated next to others for long periods.

What can venues do to encourage people to return?

Finally, YouGov CultureIndex asked Brits what actions managers and owners of venues could take to reassure people, and the results reinforce what we have already seen.

The primary action venues can take is to have well-managed and policed social distancing in place for guests, which 57% of adults listed among their top three most important tips.

Another 50% say that venues providing hand-cleaning facilities would make them feel more comfortable, followed by 37% who pointed to mandatory masks.

Over a third (35%) also said that temperature checks for potential visitors would make them feel better, as would having events operate a pre-booking system (33%).

Learn more about YouGov CultureIndex here