For the week ending 21 March, those aged 16-34 were the least likely to say that they were ‘entirely’ following the Government’s guidelines (20%), compared to three in ten overall (31%), and over two in five for those aged over 55 (44%).
Two in five of those aged 16-34 now say that they are following the Government’s guidelines ‘sometimes’ or less (42%), compared to a quarter of those aged 35-54 (25%), and just over one in ten aged 55+ (11%).
With many of the oldest and most vulnerable in society vaccinated with at least their first dose, there are signs that younger Britons, significantly less affected by the virus themselves, might be starting to grow restless of continued restrictions. The proportion of those aged 16-34 who say they are following the advice ‘mostly’ or ‘entirely’ has fallen from two-thirds at the end Jan (65%), to three in five now (58%).
Furthermore, the proportion of those aged 16-34 who say they are following Government advice only ‘sometimes’ or less (mostly not or not at all) for the week ending 21st March has risen to two in five (42%), 8pts higher than the proportion who said the same in January (34%).
These slight changes in behaviour are not confined to just the young. Overall amongst UK adults, there is a slight decrease in those who say they are ‘entirely’ following the Government’s advice (31%) for the week ending 21st March. This is a 4pt drop from the proportion who said the same for the week ending 28th Feb. The combined proportion who say they are either ‘entirely’ or ‘mostly’ following advice is 74% for the week ending 21st March, down 6pts from last month.
The percentage of those who say they are either the ‘most worried ever’ or ‘very worried’ about COVID-19 is down to 40% for last week, 12pts lower than the last week of January (52%). This is the lowest figure recorded since early September last year.
This decrease in overall worry about the virus, coupled with the arrival of Spring, have no doubt contributed to the increase in those who report leaving the house, on 71% for the week ending 21st March, up 17pts from the beginning of January (54%).
Commenting on the findings, Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta said, “With the vaccine rollout continuing in record-breaking fashion, levels of worry about the virus are understandably falling. However, increasing numbers are reporting leaving the house, and compliance with guidance is dipping slightly, particularly amongst younger Britons, and the Government may wish to keep an eye on the potential impact of attitudes towards their lockdown roadmap.”