With the relaxing of regulations around COVID-19 restrictions and many offices and venues opening their doors to allow people back in, it’s a very easy assumption to make that public concern around COVID has dissipated and life is returning back to a version of what it once was.

However, assumptions are easy to make and in a world of uncertainty and fake news, it’s easy to be misled from the facts and a true public understanding. Using the online surveying tool Global Web Index, we surveyed a sample size of the UK population to understand what the real public opinion is regarding the pandemic and whether people are truly ready to return back to ‘normal life’.

Our findings highlight, that contrary to popular belief, concern around the pandemic hasn’t gone away. As of October, 46% of respondents said their views hadn’t changed since the start of the pandemic, with 34.8% of the respondents showing more concern since the pandemic first began.

Whilst it remains true, that people are becoming more accepting of the pandemic, the presence of concern is still causing the public to avoid certain activities and past times, with a number of different industries taking a hit as confidence wavers. 

 

 

The most noticeably hit is the public transport sector, with 65.4% of surveyed respondents claiming they still feel uncomfortable in using public transport. It’s easy to understand why too - before the pandemic the industry was known for potential overcrowding and shared enclosed spaces, both of which cause concern for today’s public. However, there’s now an added complexion of a heightened ‘stranger danger’ with a lack of trust towards fellow commuters on whether they’ve been taking suitable precautions to protect people they come in contact with.

 

 

 

Also noticeably impacted by the lasting concerns caused by COVID-19 is the hospitality sector, including bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. Over half of surveyed respondents (50.1%) still feel uneasy about visiting such venues and as such, stick to takeouts or avoid them completely. When quizzed on why they feel this way, the responses vary, however the most common reasoning comes down to footfall and uncertainty around regular cleaning - with some comparing sitting at a table in a large coffee shop feeling like a game of Russian roulette, as they were unsure who was sat in their seat before them and whether it was safe to eat from that table.

 

 

Similar concerns around high footfall areas are shown in the retail sector, with over a third (34%) of respondents claiming they feel uncomfortable shopping indoors. The impact of this is blatant, with consumer behaviour shifting towards online purchasing and high street profits continuing to suffer year on year. Pin pointing an exact reason is tricky, as responses can vary between different stores, however the most common responses come from high footfall and concerns around who has touched the item before them. 

 

 

For those operating in these sectors, those numbers can feel pretty daunting, especially when the number of people purchasing goods or services is dramatically impacted by these concerns raised. However, 38.8% of respondents did state that putting a protective system in place would ease their concerns if it was effectively communicated to them.

 

 

Far-UVC lighting is arguably one of the most effective solutions to this issue, providing passive, timed or continuous sanitisation of air and surfaces in most of the above locations. The technology works by using far-uvc light to disrupt molecules and break down their integral structure, destroying 99.98% of all pathogens - including COVID-19 and other viral diseases. The fittings themselves can use existing lighting set-ups and are completely harmless to human contact, meaning they provide safety to both your staff and customers without impacting on their experience.

For more information, or to book a consultation with our Chief Technology Officer, visit www.222protect.co.uk