United Kingdom

Half of us broke lockdown curbs, study shows 

Half of us failed to follow the rules to the letter in last month’s lockdown – but nine in ten claimed they were complying better than others, a study shows.

Between 46 and 49 per cent said they had demonstrated ‘complete’ compliance with the restrictions and more than 90 per cent insisted they followed the ‘majority’ of them.

The results come from the Covid-19 Social Study by University College London which has followed more than 70,000 participants for the past 36 weeks. Researchers found 92 per cent believed they were complying with England’s lockdown rules better than others on average.

More than half of people have admitted not sticking to the letter of last month's temporary lockdown according to researchers at University College London

The subset of people from England asked about lockdown compliance were asked to rate how well they had followed the rules from one - not at all - to seven - completely

The study also found that participants’ mental health has worsened, with almost a third saying they felt worse than during the summer. The change was most apparent among those aged 18 to 29.

Lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt said: ‘For this lockdown we have seen less complete compliance, and a sense from people that they were using their own judgment.

‘Officials may have unwittingly appeared to give permission for people to use “common sense”, rather than following the rules completely.

‘The concern is that they may be making decisions they feel are safe, but which still run the risk of spreading the virus.’

The subset of people from England asked about lockdown compliance were asked to rate how well they had followed the rules from one - not at all - to seven - completely.

The question was repeated for each of the four weeks of lockdown, which finished on December 2.

Researchers found 92 per cent of people believed they were complying with the month-long lockdown rules in England better than others were doing on average.

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