New polling by Ipsos MORI shows only half of Britons would be comfortable greeting people with hugs or handshakes when the current restrictions are lifted; 50% say they would be happy doing this in the same way as before the start of the pandemic, while 40% are uncomfortable with the notion.
Britons are though becoming more comfortable returning to “normality” than last month, with the biggest increases in the prospects of visiting indoor museums (+12ppt), indoor cinemas and theatres (+11) and going to bars and restaurants and using public transport (both +10).
Many Britons are looking forward to coronavirus restrictions ending. People are most looking forward to not having to think about coronavirus or social distancing (77%), while 68% are excited to not have to wear face coverings in public places.
When considering socialising with others, Britons are looking forward to having dinner in restaurants with friends (72%) and going on a spontaneous day trip (72%), six in ten (62%) are looking forward to having people to their homes for dinner or are excited to go to parties, such as weddings and birthdays (58%). Fifty-five per cent are looking forward to going to the pub. Two-thirds (67%) of parents are looking forward to taking their children to visit their grandparents again.
While others feel uncomfortable doing so in the short term, more than 4 in 10 (44%) Britons are looking forward to attending large gatherings such as sports and music events again when life returns to “normal”.
Over half of Britons are looking forward to meeting new people when life returns to “normal” (54%), while a quarter (27%) are excited to go on dates again. This increases to half of those aged 18-34 (48%) and 4 in 10 (40%) single people.
Four in 10 (40%) workers are looking forward to seeing their work colleagues again in person. While 51% said they were excited for this 3 months ago, this fall can be explained by an equivalent increase in the proportion of people who are already doing this (up from 20% to 29%). Around 3 in 10 (31%) are looking forward to dressing smartly for work while 29% are looking forward to their commute to a from their place of work. A third (32%) say this has already gone back to normal.