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Coronavirus: Confidence in government drops as under 30s admit defying lockdown rules, study finds | UK News

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Confidence in the government in England has dropped since the lockdown was eased, with more than half of young adults no longer sticking strictly to the rules, according to a new survey.

Researchers questioned more than 90,000 adults and found those under 30 most dissatisfied, and that less than 50% of younger adults are “completely” complying with COVID-19 restrictions such as social distancing and staying at home.

The University College London survey looked at how adults are feeling about a range of issues during the coronavirus pandemic.



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These included the 23 March lockdown itself, government advice, their overall well-being and mental health.

The survey found that “complete” compliance to the measures has dropped in the past two weeks from an average of 70% to under 60%.

Lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt, of UCL’s epidemiology and health care unit, noted there had been “generally a very high” level of people sticking to the government’s lockdown advice.

The ongoing study also found that 95% of all adults and 92% of young people felt they are either “reasonable” or “good” at sticking to the measures.

People enjoy the hot weather in Greenwich Park, London, flocking to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
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People enjoy the hot weather in Greenwich Park, London

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 10 May that people could spend longer outdoors and meet one person from another household, providing they were always 2m apart.

However, there has been criticism of guidance, with some saying it was confusing and others concerned it would lead to an increase in the infection rate.

The hot weather this week has lead to crowded beaches and parks which has also worried some experts.

Dr Fancourt said: “Confidence in government has fallen in England since the easing of lockdown was announced, and is lowest in those under the age of 30.”

Those questioned between May 11 and 17 were asked to rate the government’s handling of the pandemic from one to a top mark of seven.

The government’s performance rating dropped from five at the beginning of lockdown to around four.

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The survey also showed that levels of anxiety and depression had not improved since the easing of lockdown, while worries about possibly getting ill from COVID-19 had fallen slightly.

Fears about food, finance and work were a cause of stress for some people.

Around one in 12 people said they were worried about unemployment, while around one in eight people were worried about finances.

Stress about being able to get enough food had stabilised in the past week, with fewer than one in 20 people saying they were worried about this.

The Nuffield Foundation is funding the study, which is also being backed by Wellcome and UK Research and Innovation.

Cheryl Lloyd, of the Nuffield Foundation, said: “Interestingly, whilst life satisfaction levels have remained stable, full compliance with lockdown restrictions has fallen over the past week, especially among those under 30.”

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