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From the smell of freshly baked banana bread to ‘PE with Joe’, lockdown may feel like a thing of the past but the latest research from Mintel reveals that over four in ten (42%) Brits believe* a full lockdown is likely to be imposed this winter. Although many consumers are anticipating a full lockdown, the majority (69%) of Brits think that people will be less compliant with rules in a new lockdown. 

When it comes to battening down the hatches, it would seem that practice makes perfect as half (51%) of consumers agree that people are better prepared for any new lockdowns. But homeschooling remains a major challenge, as 41% of Brits say a new lockdown will be easier to deal with if schools are open.

The use of face coverings continues to prove topical as a significant two thirds (65%) of Brits agree that rules around masks are likely to get stricter as we head into winter. The perceived importance of wearing face coverings in busy public spaces is highlighted by the fact that around eight in ten Brits agree it is important to wear a face mask on the bus/train (83%), on a flight (82%), and while grocery shopping (79%).**

This comes as one in six (16%) Brits say they are extremely worried*** about being exposed to COVID-19, rising to one in five (19%) of those aged 35-44.

Jack Duckett, Associate Director of Consumer Lifestyles Research at Mintel, said:

“When the government first introduced the unprecedented lockdown measures in March 2020 it was met with shock and panic by many consumers as they sought to adjust to this extraordinary lifestyle shift. Nearly 18 months later, consumers are infinitely more prepared, with many having made significant changes to their homes and lifestyles to cope with the varying levels of social distancing rules. 

“Consumers are by no means ignorant to the persistent risk the virus still poses, as shown by the continued support for mask usage in many public forums, and should deaths start to rise again, it is likely that support for mask usage will rise even further. But with many people viewing vaccines as a means to leave social distancing in the past, the return of more extreme social distancing rules (including a full lockdown) is likely to find consumers less compliant with each reimposition. 

“For brands, it has been important since the start of the pandemic to prove to consumers that they are trustworthy and able to support their customers throughout these lifestyle changes. And this is still critical today.” 

Notes to editors:

1,000 consumers asked  16th – 27th September 2021 

* A combination of strongly agree and agree responses

** 2,000 internet users aged 16+ were questioned between 18th-27th August 2021

*** Based on concern ranking from 1-5, 1 being “not at all worried” and 5 being “extremely worried”