Sunday Express

80% nervous about lifting of Covid rules

- By Lucy Johnston HEALTH EDITOR

EIGHT in 10 people are nervous about the loosening of lockdown restrictio­ns – and more than a third plan to continue shunning large crowds and social gatherings after July 19, a survey shows.

Meanwhile, a psychologi­st has highlighte­d separate research showing that Britons are among the most anxious about Covid.

The poll of 2,006 adults for medical ID charity Medicalert showed 77 per cent of adults were fearful of restrictio­ns being lifted.thirty-five per cent plan to stay away from other people.

Separate work by Prof Marcantoni­o Spada from London’s South Bank University and Prof Ana Nikcevic from Kingston University found one in five Britons have developed a set of behaviours that are keeping them “stuck in a state of threat and fear” about becoming infected.

They call this “Covid anxiety syndrome”.

Figures from their study of 975 people showed up to 20 per cent were affected.

Age, gender and vaccinatio­n status were not found to be predictors of who was affected.

Forty per cent of those quizzed reported avoiding touching things in public spaces, and 30 per cent avoided public transport for the same reason.

Twenty-five per cent admitted to paying close attention to people displaying possible symptoms of the virus.

Prof Spada said: “Many people are still struggling with aspects of Covid anxiety syndrome, a similar figure to what we previously observed during full lockdown.

“This means that there are still many people who find it difficult to disengage from the Covid threat.”

The team also carried out global comparison­s and found that the UK, Italy and the United States suffer more with the syndrome than people in China, Germany and Sweden.

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