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3. Looking forward
Finally, surveys have examined people's reactions to lifting lockdown restrictions. This section summarises polling data about public confidence and comfort in resuming restricted activities and current trends in activity across different aspects of society.
Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with statements about how to decide when to lift restrictions. As shown in Figure 21, the majority of respondents agreed with these statements on support for a distinct and phased approach to lifting restrictions since May, with a dip in support at the end of June,.
The proportion of respondents agreeing that the time is now right for businesses to start re-opening increased gradually since June, from two to three fifths, as shown in Figure 22. However, there has been little change in the vast majority agreeing that decisions on lifting restrictions should be based on saving lives.
In a new question, respondents were asked whether they feel the speed at which the Scottish Government is easing restrictions is about right, too fast or too slow. As shown in Figure 23 the majority of respondents answered that the Scottish Government is easing restrictions at a speed that is 'about right', although this decreased in August. The proportions who think that the speed of easing restrictions is 'too fast' and 'too slow' were stable and roughly equal in August.
Returning to normal
Respondents were also asked whether they would feel comfortable doing a range of activities in the next month. As shown in Figure 24, the proportion of respondents who felt comfortable going to a café or restaurant increased during July and August, to three fifths. The majority felt comfortable going to their usual place of work, while levels of comfort in going to a bar or pub in August were low.
Parents of school aged children were also asked about how comfortable they would be with their children going (back to) school when schools re-opened in August, and later, how comfortable they were with this return. Since schools have reopened, around three in five parents have felt comfortable with the return.
Respondents were shown a list of places and asked which ones they had visited since they re-opened. As shown in Figure 25 the proportion of people visiting re-opened businesses or facilities rose over July and the beginning of August.
From August respondents were also shown a list of places and asked which ones they had visited in the past week. Figure 26 shows that the most commonly visited places were hospitality venues. The proportions of people who had visited a business, or hospitality venue remained fairly stable throughout August. Roughly one quarter of people indicated that they had not visited any of the listed places.
Respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with statements about their concerns for the future. As shown in Figure 27 around four in five respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they did not want to rush into things as restrictions change during July and August.
As shown in Figure 28 just under half of respondents agreed that they felt anxious about resuming normal activities after the pandemic, and there was a small increase in the proportion who agreed that climate change is as serious as Coronavirus is in the long term.