Nearly half of Britons are finding the latest lockdown harder than the first

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
Eir NolsoeData Journalist
February 22, 2021, 2:09 PM UTC

A similar number of people are pessimistic about the future of the UK in the next six months

How are Britons holding up during the latest national lockdown? New YouGov research asks how hard people are finding this lockdown compared to the first just over a year ago, and whether they are optimistic for how the next six months will be.

Thinking about their personal situation, 48% of Britons say they are finding the latest lockdown harder than the March 2020 lockdown, with around one in six (17%) finding this newest lockdown “much harder”. Another 37% are finding it to be about the same, and one in nine people (11%) are finding it easier.

Women (52%) are more likely than men (42%) to say they are finding this lockdown harder than the first, with one in five women (20%) reporting the current lockdown has been “much harder” on their personal situation.

While there is no significant difference between age groups in terms of finding the latest lockdown harder, 18 to 24-year olds (17%) are twice as likely as the over-65s (7%) to say they are finding the latest lockdown easier on their personal situation.

Two thirds of Britons (66%) also think that other people are finding this lockdown harder that the first. Another 15% think other people are finding it the same, while only 8% think others are finding lockdown easier this time around.

Among those who are personally finding the lockdown hard, there is perhaps a sense of shared burden with 89% thinking other people are in the same boat and finding lockdown harder this time around as well, and just 2% thinking others are finding it easier.

Half of people (55%) finding this lockdown similar to the first think others are finding it harder, while 25% think others are in the same boat as them, while 7% think others are finding it easier.

Those finding this lockdown easier on the other hand are split, with 30% thinking that others are finding this lockdown hard, 28% thinking others are finding it the same, and another 31% thinking others are finding it easier too.

Britons are optimistic for their own futures but pessimistic about the country as whole

The survey also shows that despite talk of lockdown restrictions lasting into summer, only a minority of Britons (24%) feel pessimistic about their life in the next six months. About a quarter (27%) feel neutral, while over two fifths (45%) feel optimistic.

Fewer people are hopeful for the UK as whole, however. About half (48%) feel pessimistic about what’s to come, while a fifth (21%) are on the fence and a quarter (26%) feel positive.

In fact, people who are struggling more in the current lockdown feel more positive about their immediate future (55%) than those finding it easier (40%).

The same pattern is true for the UK as whole. A third of those finding it tougher this time (32%) believe things will get better, compared with under a quarter of people finding it more bearable than previously (23%).

See full results here